Florida DUI Penalties Depend on Number of Previous Offenses
The state of Florida considers driving under the influence of alcohol, chemical substances and controlled substances a serious matter, and doesn’t give previous offenders much of a second chance. The more offenses a driver incurs, the heavier the consequences, including fines, vehicle impounding and even imprisonment.
Florida determines driving under the influence by the impairment of the faculties required to drive safely, and by the results of your blood alcohol or breath alcohol test. If you are under 21, your blood alcohol content (BAC) has to only be .02 percent to arrest you for a DUI. Drivers 21 and over must show a BAC of .08 percent, with the exception of commercial drivers, who have a limit of .04 percent.
If arrested for a DUI, you have to be held for at least eight hours or show a return to a normal state and show a BAC of .05 percent if you are 21 and over, after which you’ll face a number of penalties based on the offense:
- Your first offense. Fines and penalties range from $500 to $1,200. Your license will be suspended for a minimum of 180 days and up to a year, and you face six to nine months of jail time.
- Your second offense. If you receive a second DUI within five years of the first, fines range from $1,000 to $4,000. Your license will be suspended for five years, although suspension may be reduced to one year, and you face nine months to a year in jail.
- Your third offense. If you receive a third offense within 10 years of the second, fines range from $2,000 to $5,000. Your license will be suspended for 10 years, although that may be reduced to two years, and you face up to five years in jail.
Additional penalties and charges vary depending on the nature of the incident. A third DUI is considered a Third Degree Felony, for example, and DUI that results in personal injury to another or property damage will incur a First to Third Degree Misdemeanor. You may also face impounding of your vehicle, community service, DUI school, probation, disqualification from operating commercial vehicles and other penalties.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Florida, don’t hesitate to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney with Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A. in Orlando.