Florida Drunk Driving Fines & Penalties

Learn about the penalties for a DUI conviction in Florida.

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What are the penalties for a DUI in Florida?


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

6 to 9 months

9 months to 1 year

Up to 1 year

Fines and Penalties

$500 to $2,000

$1,000 to $4,000

$2,000 to $5,000

License Suspension

180 days to 1 year

5 years (which can be reduced to 1)

10 years (which can be reduced to 2)

IID** Required

Yes

Yes

Yes

Lookback Period: 5 years for a Second offense, 10 years for a third offense (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencingAlso known as a “washout” period.)

**Interlock ignition device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Florida?

Under 21

.02%

21 or older

.08%

Commercial

.04%

**BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC Chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however I wouldn't let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Florida?

Florida has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about Florida’s implied consent law.

 

1st Offense

2d Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

1 year license suspension

18 month license suspension

18 month license suspension

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Florida?

In some circumstances, a plea bargain of "wet reckless" might be accepted by the prosecution in Florida. A "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, is usually made as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. A plea bargain of wet reckless might occur when the amount of alcohol is borderline illegal, there was no accident, and the defendant has no prior record. But if there is a subsequent drunk driving conviction, the "wet reckless" is usually considered a prior drunk driving conviction; the resulting sentence can be what's required for a second DUI/DWI conviction. If you are interested in trying to make a plea for a wet reckless, you'll need the help of a lawyer.

Drinking and Driving Laws in Florida

The State of Florida drunk driving laws prohibits driving any type of vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above. The .08 percent BAC limit is the standard measurement used across the United States for the "impaired" driver. This limit is lower for drivers of commercial vehicles (.04%) and virtually non-existent for drivers under the age of 21 (.02%).

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in Florida? There really isn't a magic formula that can calculate exactly how much you can drink before you become legally impaired. It is safe to say that for every drink you take, your level of impairment increases. There have been studies that have shown that you blood alcohol concentration level goes up approximately .05 percent for each drink taken. In fact, it takes very little alcohol to become legally drunk. The best answer is not to drink and drive.

The State of Florida has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in Florida, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

A first time conviction of drunk driving in Florida will result in up to 6 months in jail. If a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, or if the driver had a BAC of .15 percent or higher, a sentence of no more than 9 months in jail will be issued. Unless the family of the DUI has no other means of transportation the vehicle will be impounded for 10 days. The convicted driver will also receive a fine of no less than $500 and no more than $1,000. If the driver's BAC was .15 percent or higher or there was a minor in the vehicle the fine will be no less than $1000 and no more than $2,000. A drivers license suspension of 6 months. You will also need to do 50 hours of community service or pay $10 for every hour of community service given. You must also complete DUI school as directed by the court.

A second drunk driving conviction in Florida will result in up to 9 months in jail. If a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, or the driver had a BAC of .15 percent or higher, a sentence of no more than 12 months in jail will be issued. If the second conviction of drunk driving is within 5 years of the first, the driver must be imprisoned for 10 days mandatory, 48 hours of the confinement must be consecutive. Unless the family of the convicted driver has no other means of transportation the vehicle will be impounded for 30 days. The convicted driver will also receive a fine of no less than $1,000 and no more than $2,000. If the driver's BAC was .15 percent or higher or there was a minor in the vehicle the fine will be no less than $2,000 and no more than $4,000. If within 5 years, a minimum drivers license suspension of 5 years. If eligible, a hardship reinstatement will may be issued after 1 year. You must also complete DUI school as directed by the court.

A third drunk driving conviction in Florida will result in up to 12 months in jail, 30 days of the jail sentence is mandatory and 48 hours must be served consecutively. Unless the family of the convicted driver has no other means of transportation, the vehicle will be impounded for 90 days. The convicted driver will also receive a fine of no less than $2,000 and no more than $5,000. If the driver's BAC was .15 percent or higher, or a minor was in the vehicle during the DUI, the fine will be no less than $4,000. A minimum drivers license suspension of 10 years. If eligible, a hardship reinstatement will may be issued after 2 years.

A fourth drunk driving conviction will result in up to 5 years in jail as provided in the State of Florida statutes as a habitual offender. On your fourth drunk driving conviction, your license will be revoked for life, without any possibility of receiving a hardship reinstatement. The fine will be no less than $2,000.

Does a DUI in Florida Count as a Criminal Offense?

Your DUI conviction, or refusal to consent to a chemical test is considered a misdemeanor in Florida unless:

  • This is your third DUI within ten years (classified as a third degree felony).
  • This is your fourth, fifth, sixth, or more DUI regardless of when they occurred (classified as a third degree felony).
  • Your incident was the cause of serious bodily injury (medical injury with a risk of death) or disfigurement or serious organ injury (classified as a third degree felony). Your incident resulted in the death of a person or unborn (DUI manslaughter -- either a first or a second-degree felony).

New Florida DUI Laws

In 2010, Florida reduced penalties for four-time offenders if certain requisites are met. These requirements include a 10-year waiting period with no driving for the 10-year period and no manslaughter in the original charge. Restricted driving privileges will be imposed during the first year. Also, the defendant must participate in an alcohol treatment program within the first six-month period from the time the license is reinstated.

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