DUI Penalties In Florida

In Florida, driving under the influence (DUI) is one offense, compared to other states in which there are separate crimes of DWI (driving while impaired) or DUBAL (driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level). In Florida, DUI can be proved by either impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. Even if you have a prescription for the medication that has caused you to be impaired, you can still be found guilty if you drove while your "normal faculties" were impaired.

The punishment for DUI is the same no matter the manner in which the offense is proven to have been committed. However, the specific penalties you face will depend on whether you have been convicted of DUI before and, if so, how many times. Here is an overview of some common DUI penalties under Florida law:

Fines

  • First conviction: $500 up to $1,000 ($1,000 to $2,000 if BAC is .15 or higher or there is a minor in the vehicle)
  • Second conviction: $1,000 up to $2,000 ($2,000 to $4,000 if BAC is .15 or higher or there is a minor in the vehicle)
  • Third conviction: $2,000 up to $5,000 ($4,000 if BAC is .15 or higher or there is a minor in the vehicle)
  • Fourth or subsequent conviction: Not less than $2,000

Imprisonment

At court's discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, credited toward term of imprisonment. Here are the terms imposed for DUI convictions:

  • First conviction: Up to six months (up to nine months if BAC is .15 or higher or there is a minor in the vehicle)
  • Second conviction: Up to nine months (up to 12 months if BAC is .15 or higher or there is a minor in the vehicle). If this is the second conviction within five years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. At least 48 hours of the jail sentence must be consecutive (this eliminates most house arrest situations).
  • Third conviction: For a third conviction within 10 years, mandatory jail time of at least 30 days. At least 48 hours of the jail sentence must be consecutive. If third conviction occurs over more than 10 years, imprisonment for not more than 12 months.
  • Fourth or subsequent conviction: As this is a felony charge, a person may be sentenced up to five years in the Florida State Prison or up to 10 years if the person is a habitual felony offender.

DUI Driver License Revocation Periods

  • First conviction: At least 180 days, up to one year.
  • Second conviction within five years of prior DUI: Mandatory five years revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after one year. (If the second DUI is beyond five years of the first DUI, this is treated the same as the first offense).
  • Third conviction within 10 years of the second DUI: Mandatory 10 years revocation. Possibly eligible for a hardship reinstatement after two years, if no other offenses.
  • Fourth conviction and vehicular manslaughter: Mandatory permanent revocation. No hardship reinstatement.
  • DUI manslaughter: Mandatory permanent revocation, with possible eligibility for hardship reinstatement after five years if there are no other DUI-related charges.
  • Manslaughter, DUI serious bodily injury or vehicular homicide convictions: Mandatory three-year revocation.

Other Consequences Of A DUI

Fines, jail time and loss of your license are some of the most significant penalties, but a DUI conviction can lead to other penalties as well, including:

  • Community service
  • Impoundment of immobilization of your vehicle
  • DUI school
  • Alcohol treatment

Additional penalties apply for people who are underage or who are convicted of manslaughter or another crime in addition to a DUI. Your car insurance premiums will also increase significantly if you are convicted of a DUI.

Fight Your DUI: Call Bodiford Law, P.A., Today

You don't have to face a DUI charge alone. Get the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Bodiford Law, P.A., on your side. Call us in Tallahassee at 850-222-4529 (for existing clients) and 850-583-7381 (for new clients) or contact us online for a free consultation with a lawyer.