DUI Laws in Florida

What are the Penalties and Fines?

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The penalties for DUI laws in Florida are extremely harsh. More and more states are enforcing more severe punishments as a way to reduce the number of car accident injuries and drunk driving deaths.

Florida, like most states, defines a DUI as a driver operating a vehicle while having a Blood Alcohol Concentration ( BAC) of 0.08 or higher. This DUI will remain on your permanent driving record for 75 years.

If you are arrested for a drunk driving in Florida, you cannot refuse to take a breath, urine, or blood test. If you refuse to take these tests, it will be used as evidence against you during your criminal charges.

In addition your driver's license will be suspended if you refuse to take the test. If you refuse once, your driver's license will be suspended for 1 year. More than one refusal will suspend your license for 18 months.

Here are the penalties for a breaking the Drunk driving laws in Florida:

First DUI Conviction

  • $500 -$1000
  • 50 Hours of community service
  • Up to 6 months of jail
  • Vehicle Impounded for 10 days

Second DUI Conviction

  • $1000 - $2000
  • Up to 9 months in jail.
  • Vehicle impounded for 30 days

Effect on Driver's License

Under DUI laws in Florida, if you were arrested for a drunk driving, you driver's license will be suspended. The length of your suspension depends on your prior DUI offenses.

  • First Offense: 180 days to 1 year
  • Second Offense : Minimum of 5 Years
  • Third Offense: Minimum of 10 years
  • Fourth Offense : Permanently suspended

In some cases, it is possible for you to reinstate your driver's license. Drunk driving laws in Florida allow something known as a hardship reinstatement. This is typically for people who need to drive in order to and from work everyday.

In order to get your driver's license reinstated, you will have to take a DUI class. If this is your first drunk driving offense, you will be required to take a 12 hour DUI class. If you are a repeat offender, you will have to take the 21 hour class.

DUI Misdemeanor

According to DUI laws in Florida, if you injur someone or cause any property damage while intoxicated, you will be charged with a first degree misdemeanor. This means you will be fined up to $1,000 and jail time up to 1 year.

Felony

If you cause serious bodily injuries to someone, you may be charged with a felony conviction. In addition you could be fined up to $5,000 with a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.

Manslaughter

If you kill someone while driving drunk you will be charged with a second degree felony. This would include fines of up to $10,000 and/or a jail time of 15 years. If you leave the scene after killing a person, you will be charged with a first-degree felony. This carries a fine of $10,000 and a prison sentence of 30 years.

Bottom Line

If you break the DUI laws in Florida, it will cost you a lot of time and money. That is why it is important you understand how the drunk driving legal process works and how you can deal with the aftermath.