If you drink and drive you may get arrested and do some jail time. You may loose your drivers license, pay heavy fines, do community service, probation, DUI school, and pay much higher auto insurance rates. Under Florida law, driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances is one offense, proved by impairment or an unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above.
Drivers Under 21
Any driver under 21 that is stopped and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their Florida drivers license suspended for 6 months.
Drivers Over 21
Florida Penalties for DUI
- Community Service
- License Revocation
- DUI School
Penalties for DUI in Florida increase dramatically if blood alcohol level is .15 or higher or if a minor is in the vehicle. In these cases an Ignition Interlock Device may be installed for at least 6 continuous months.
Florida law mandates that any driver convicted of a second DUI have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in their vehicle.
- First conviction: Not less than $500 or more than $1,000.
- Second conviction: Not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000.
- Third conviction (within 10 years from the second offense): Not less than $2,000 or more than $5,000.
- Third conviction (more than 10 years from second): Not less than $2,000 or more than $5,000.
- Fourth or subsequent conviction: Not less than $2,000.
A judge may direct that sentencing terms be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program and credited toward the term of imprisonment.
- First conviction: Imprisonment for not more than six months.
- Second conviction: Imprisonment for not more than nine months. If second conviction was within five years of a prior conviction, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days.
- Third conviction: If third conviction is within 10 years of a prior conviction, mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days. If third conviction is more than 10 years of a prior conviction, imprisonment for not more than 12 months.
- Fourth or subsequent conviction: Imprisonment for not more than five years.
Impoundment or Immobilization of Vehicle
Unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation:
- First conviction – 10 days;
- Second conviction within five years of a prior conviction – 30 days;
- Third conviction within 10 years of a prior conviction – 90 days.
Impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with incarceration.
Driver License Revocation for DUI
- First offense: Minimum 180 days revocation, maximum one year.
- Second offense within five years from prior conviction: Minimum five years revocation.
- Second offense five or more years after first conviction: Minimum 180 days revocation, maximum one year
- Third offense within 10 years of the second conviction: Minimum 10 years revocation.
- Third offense 10 or more years after the second conviction: Minimum 180 days revocation, maximum one year.
- Fourth conviction, regardless of when prior convictions occurred: Mandatory permanent revocation.
Review Hearings for Administrative Suspensions and Disqualifications
Florida Statutes allows the DHSMV to conduct formal and informal reviews of administrative suspensions and disqualifications.
Individuals Arrested for DUI May Have Their Driver License Privilege Reinstated for Business or Employment Purposes.
- Suspension for driving with an unlawful alcohol level of .08 or above, or refusal to submit to breath, urine, or blood test, must show proof of enrollment in DUI school and apply for an administrative hearing for possible hardship reinstatement. Must serve 30 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. For first refusal, must serve 90 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. No hardship reinstatement for two or more refusals.
- Suspension for persons under the age of 21 driving with a breath alcohol level of .02 or above, must complete a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course before hardship reinstatement. Persons with alcohol level of .05 or higher, must complete DUI program prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. Must serve 30 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement.
Individuals Convicted of DUI May Have Their Driver License Privilege Reinstated for Business or Employment Purposes.
- First conviction, must complete DUI school and apply to DHSMV for hearing for possible hardship reinstatement.
- Second conviction within five years, five-year revocation. May apply for hardship reinstatement hearing after one year.
- Third conviction within 10 years of a prior conviction, 10-year revocation. Mandatory IID for two years.
Hardship License Prohibited
- Florida law prohibits any hardship reinstatement upon second or subsequent suspension for test refusal or if driver has been convicted of DUI two or more times.
- Persons disqualified from operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) cannot obtain a hardship license to operate a CMV.
Chemical or Physical Test Provisions – Implied Consent Law
- First refusal, suspended for one year. Second or subsequent refusals, suspended for 18 months.
- Portable alcohol breath testing devices for persons under the age of 21.
Adjudication and Sentencing
The courts are prohibited from withholding adjudication in DUI cases or from reducing a DUI charge if the defendant’s blood alcohol was .15 or greater.
If you or a loved-one have been arrested for DUI you may loose your drivers license, pay heavy fines, do community service, probation, DUI school, and pay much higher auto insurance rates. The attorneys at Fernandez and Hernandez have experience with DUI cases and will work vigorously to protect your rights, get the very best resolution of your cases, and get your drivers license back.
If you or a loved-one need legal assistance with a DUI call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813 229-5353.