Drunk Driving Penalties are Stiffer in Florida


drunk driving in florida

In Florida, as in many states, you’re considered legally drunk if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is 0.08 or above. That means that 0.08 percent of your blood, typically by volume, consists of alcohol. Penalties for driving while under the influence, or DUI, depend on the number of convictions and remain the same, no matter how you are caught. They are the most current as of the time of this post.

  • First conviction: a fine ranging from $500 through $1,000. If your BAC is 0.15 or higher, than the fine goes up to between $1,000 and $2,000. You must perform a mandatory 50 hours of community service, or will get additional fines of $10 for each hour of needed service. In addition, you receive probation and/or imprisonment of up to a year, although the maximum incarceration term is six month. Finally, your vehicle is impounded for 10 days, unless your family has no other means of transportation.
  • Second conviction: Fine from $1,000 through $2,000, although a BAC of 0.15 or higher increases the amount to between $2,000 and $4,000. You may be imprisoned for up to nine months, or up to a year, if your BAC of 0.15 or greater, or if you had a minor in the car during your arrest. Note that the judge may put you in a residential alcoholism treatment program and credit that time toward your term of imprisonment, whether it’s your first or second conviction. You also lose your car for 30 days for a second conviction within five years.
  • Third conviction: A third conviction within 10 years imposes a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000. A BAC of 0.15 or greater raises the minimum fine to $4,000. You must also serve a minimum of 30 days in jail. Your car is impounded for 90 days. If it’s your third conviction after more than 10 years, your incarceration must be less than 12 months.
  • Fourth conviction: Minimum fine of $2,000 and imprisonment as a habitual/violent offender for nor over five years.

These penalties do not relate to the number of times you’ve been arrested but refer to the number of times you’ve been found guilty in court. If you have any questions about DUI laws or need courtrepresentation, contact an attorney right away.

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Howard Iken is a Florida attorney that practices in family law, bankruptcy, and criminal law. He can be reached at www.myfloridalaw.com