An Overview of Florida’s DUI Laws

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime that poses risks not just to the driver, but to others on the road. In Florida, as with many states, DUI laws have been enforced rigorously to ensure the safety of all road users. This article will provide an in-depth exploration of Florida’s DUI laws, shedding light on the intricate facets of these regulations.

BAC Limits and Florida’s Definition of Impairment

Florida defines DUI as driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs. For those 21 years and older, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher qualifies as impairment. For commercial drivers, the limit is set at 0.04%. Notably, Florida enforces a “zero tolerance” policy for those under 21, which means any BAC above 0.02% can lead to DUI charges.

Penalties and Consequences

DUI consequences in Florida vary depending on the number of offenses and the BAC level. Here’s a breakdown:

First Offense

  1. Fines ranging from $500 to $1,000
  2. Imprisonment up to 6 months
  3. License revocation for a minimum of 180 days

Second Offense (within five years)

  1. Fines between $1,000 to $2,000
  2. Imprisonment up to 9 months
  3. Mandatory ignition interlock device installation for one year
  4. License revocation for a minimum of 5 years, but can be reduced to 1 year with mandatory DUI school completion.

Repeat offenses within ten years or with extremely high BAC levels bring even stiffer penalties, emphasizing the state’s commitment to curbing recurrent DUI violations.

Implied Consent Law

Florida’s implied consent law dictates that any driver must consent to a chemical test if suspected of DUI. Refusing the test results in automatic license suspension for one year for the first refusal and 18 months for subsequent refusals.

DUI School and Rehabilitation

Florida mandates DUI school for all DUI offenders. First-time offenders must complete a 12-hour Level 1 course, while repeat offenders undertake a more comprehensive Level 2 course. These programs aim to educate drivers on the dangers of impaired driving and reduce the likelihood of repeat offenses.

While being time-intensive, they can also be expensive, since the state of Florida expects the driver to accept full responsibility for the payment of these programs. Along with the fines for the infraction itself and the legal fees associated with your conviction, this particular step in the process of rehabilitation can feel more costly than you’d expect.

What You’ve Learned About Florida’s DUI Laws

Florida’s approach to DUI reflects a commitment to road safety and the well-being of its citizens. The state’s stringent laws aim to deter potential offenders, emphasizing education and rehabilitation for those convicted.

Despite that, a DUI conviction does not have to be a catastrophic event in your life. You can defend yourself in a court of law and there’s no better way to establish a legal defense than by hiring a qualified DUI attorney.

Click here or call (800) 384-5297 for a free consultation with a DUI attorney today.