Drunk Driving in Florida – Florida DUI Defenses – Florida DUI Penalties

Driving under the influence, better known as DUI, is a serious crime that is strictly enforced in the state of Florida. Although a DUI charge is mostly related to alcohol, it should be noted that a DUI charge includes any substance that impairs a person’s driving abilities, such as medications.

According to Florida law, a DUI is an offense that is proven by the loss of normal capabilities or an unlawful blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.

Penalties of DUI Charges in Florida:

Fines and penalties behind DUI charges are harsh and will increase with each DUI charge a driver receives. The common penalties associated with DUI charges in Florida are as follows:

First DUI

  • Suspended License (Minimum of 180 days and Maximum of 1 year)
  • Fine of $500 to $1000
  • 50 Hours of community service hours
  • Probation (No more than a year)
  • Imprisonment (No more than six months)
  • • 12 hours of DUI school

In addition, if an adult is found driving under the influence with a minor present in the vehicle or has a blood alcohol level of .15, they can face up to nine months in prison and a $1000 to $2000 fine.

Second DUI

  • Revoked license (Minimum of 180 days and Maximum of 1 year) if date of second DUI is over five years from the first DUI
  • Fine for a second DUI is $1000 to $2000
  • Revoked license for FIVE years if second DUI is within five years of the first DUI
  • Imprisonment (up to nine months)

In addition, if an adult is found driving under the influence with a minor present in the vehicle or has a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher they can face up to 12 months in prison and a $2000 to $4000 fine. If these circumstances occur and the second DUI is within five years of the first, then the adult has to face a minimum of ten days in jail.

Third DUI

A driver’s third DUI charge has significantly higher penalties than the first two and is the last DUI charge a person can have without their license being revoked permanently. Penalties for a third DUI charge are as follows:

  • Revoked license (Minimum of 180 days and Maximum of 1 year) if date of second DUI is over ten years from the first and second DUI
  • Fine of $2000 to $5000
  • Revoked license for FIVE years if third DUI is within ten years of the first DUI
  • Imprisonment (up to twelve months)
  • If the DUI is within ten years of the first two then a five year sentence can be enforced with a minimum of 30 days in jail

In addition, if an adult is found driving under the influence with a minor in the vehicle or has a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher their fine will not be less than $4000. If these circumstances occur and the second DUI is within ten years of the first, then the adult has to face a minimum of 30 days in jail.

For a fourth DUI charge, a person faces up to a $5000 fine, five years and prison, and will have their license revoked permanently.

Driver Under 21

Florida has a Zero Tolerance Law against underage drinking and driving. If a driver is under the age of 21 and has a blood alcohol level of .02 then their license will automatically be suspended for six months.

Other Penalties

A driver’s car may be impounded by the police officer when a person is charged with drinking and driving. Depending on the number of DUIs a person has and the blood alcohol level, a person’s car can be impounded up to 90 days.

Another penalty is an interlock device that is installed in a person’s car once a person receives a second DUI conviction. The interlock device prevents a person from drinking and driving by checking their breath for alcohol every time they are about to drive.

Defenses

The accusing officer must be able to prove that the individual driving was indeed incapable of operating a vehicle safely and was under the influence while operating a vehicle. There are numerous mishaps that can occur while an officer administers a breathalyzer test or when an officer administers a field sobriety test. So the information they provide in court may be inadmissible.

Hiring a Lawyer

The amount of legal fees and fines that come with a DUI charge usually amount to thousands of dollars and the more DUI charges a person has the higher their fees will become. Hire a lawyer to fight your case and you may end up saving more money. An experienced lawyer knows the way of the law and will have the knowledge it takes to reduce or eliminate your charges.

Call Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins today and speak with one of our attorneys in regards to your case. We have fought thousands of DUI cases and we know the best defenses at getting your charges dismissed or reduced. Callus today and set up a free consultation and learn more about your case at no cost. Call us today at 1-800-FIGHT-IT (1-800-344-4848).

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