400 SE 8 Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316, USA
drunk driving in florida

Drunk driving in Florida

The penalties below are CITED FROM DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES WEBSITE

Florida Statutes are cited to and available online or from this law firm

Please be aware that the Department of motor vehicles states that driving is a privilege and not a right. Therefore, the DMV can suspend your driving privileges separate and apart from the court system. You have a limited time to request an administrative hearing in order to have the DMV review your case to possibly avoid suspension. Again, this is separate and apart from the court date, you will receive.

Please be aware that you can attempt to get the minimum mandatory sentence with a negotiated plea bargain with the State. You can attempt this without an attorney. However, an attorney should be able to ensure you receive the best possible plea. This firm will do this for a reduced fee. If a trial is necessary, then a separate fee for costs and time will be necessary.

Please allow this firm to obtain the discovery (the facts and evidence the State has) to evaluate your case before making your decision to accept a plea or take your case further.

Florida Drunk Driving

Drunk Driving Penalties in Florida

If you drink alcohol and drive you dramatically increase your chance of being in a crash. In addition, if you are pulled over and the officer asks you to take a blood, urine or breath test you are required to comply. Florida has the “Implied Consent Law”. When you sign your drivers license you have agreed to take these tests upon request. Refusal to take any of the tests will result in an immediate suspension for one year. A second refusal will result in an 18 month suspension.

2017 DUI Statistics

According to Florida DMV records there were 43,899 DUI Violation Tickets Issued in 2017 and 24,334 DUI convictions. Of the 43,899 DUI tickets issued in Florida in 2017 – 7,612 were issued by the FHP, 17,530 were issued by police departments in Florida, and 18,056 were issued by Florida Sheriffs departments.

2017 Florida DUI Original Violations in the large Counties

  • Hillsborough County (Tampa) – 4,499

  • Miami-Dade – (Miami) – 3,099

  • Duval County – (Jacksonville Area) – 2,995

  • Pinellas County (St Petersburg) – 3,155

  • Palm Beach County (West Palm Beach) – 2,567

  • Orange County (Orlando) – 2,013

  • Brevard County (Melbourne) – 2,466

  • Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) – 3,104

Ignition Interlock

Florida law mandates that any driver convicted of a second DUI have an Ignition Interlock device installed in their vehicle. A judge may order an Interlock installed on first convictions depending on circumstances. Read the details of the Florida Ignition Interlock program.

No one can drink alcohol and still drive safely. Drinking and driving causes accidents and deaths every day and therefore the penalties in Florida are very tough. If you drink and drive the result may be jail time, loss of your Florida drivers license, heavy fines, and much higher auto insurance rates. And a conviction will stay on your Florida driving record for 75 years.

Zero Tolerance for Drivers under 21

Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21. This means that any driver under 21 that is stopped by law enforcement and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their Florida drivers license suspended for 6 months. The .02 limit really means that you cannot have a single drink and drive. And that’s the idea.

For drivers over 21 the legal limit in Florida is .08. Regardless of your age be aware that drinking and driving is considered a serious offense. Below we have summarized the penalties in the state of Florida for a first offense DUI, but the average cost including legal defense, fines, and auto insurance increases is $8000.

Florida Penalties for DUI First Conviction

  • Fine – $500 to $1000 (blood alcohol level of .15 or higher or minor in vehicle)

  • Community Service – 50 Hours

  • Probation – Not more than 1 Year

  • Imprisonment – Not more than 6 Months

  • Imprisonment with BAL of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months

  • License Revocation – Minimum of 180 days

  • DUI School – 12 Hours

Penalties for a first DUI conviction in Florida increase dramatically if BAL (Blood Alcohol Level is .15 or higher or if a minor is in the vehicle). In these cases an Ignition Interlock Device may be installed for at least 6 continuous months.

DUI fine schedule, per section 316.193, Florida Statutes.

  • First conviction:

    • Not less than $500 or more than $1,000.

    • If blood/breath alcohol level (BAL) was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000.

  • Second conviction:

    • Not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000.

    • If BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, not less than $2,000 or more than $4,000.

  • Third conviction (within 10 years from the second offense):

    • Not less than $2,000 or more than $5,000.

    • If BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, not less than $4,000.

  • Third conviction (more than 10 years from second):

    • Not less than $2,000 or more than $5,000.

    • If BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, not less than $4,000.

  • Fourth or subsequent conviction: 

    • Not less than $2,000.

    • If BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, not less than $4,000.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 316.193(2)(a)-(b), (4)(a), Florida Statutes.

A DUI violation has additional penalties that may be assessed by the court. For more information regarding additional penalties, please see section 316.193, Florida Statutes.

Imprisonment

At the court’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program and credited toward the term of imprisonment.

  • First conviction:

    • Imprisonment for not more than six months.

    • If BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, imprisonment for not more than nine months.

  • Second conviction:

    • Imprisonment for not more than nine months.

    • If BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, imprisonment for not more than 12 months.

    • If second conviction was within five years of a prior conviction, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.

  • Third conviction:

    • If third conviction is within 10 years of a prior conviction, mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.

    • If third conviction is more than 10 years of a prior conviction, imprisonment for not more than 12 months.

  • Fourth or subsequent conviction:

    • Imprisonment for not more than five years, or as provided in section 775.084, Florida Statutes, if habitual/violent offender.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 316.193 (2)(a) 2, 4(b), (6)(b)-(c),  775.082(3)(e), and 775.084, Florida Statutes.

Impoundment or Immobilization of Vehicle

Unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation:

  • First conviction = 10 days;

  • Second conviction within five years of a prior conviction= 30 days;

  • Third conviction within 10 years of a prior conviction = 90 days.

Impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with incarceration. The court may dismiss the order of impoundment of any vehicles owned by the defendant if they are operated solely by employees of the defendant or any business owned by the defendant.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to section 316.193 (6), Florida Statutes.

Conditions for Release of Persons Arrested for DUI

  • The person is no longer under the influence and the person’s normal faculties are no longer impaired

  • The person’s blood/breath alcohol level is lower than 0.05; or

  • Eight hours have elapsed from the time the person was arrested.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to section 316.193 (9), Florida Statutes.

DUI Crash Involving Property Damage or Personal Injury

Any person who causes property damage or personal injury to another while driving under the influence is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor (not more than $1,000 fine or one-year imprisonment).

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 316.193 (3), 775.082(4)(a), and 775.083(1)(d), Florida Statutes.

Repeat DUI Offender or Crash Involving Serious Bodily Injury

  • Any person convicted of a third DUI within 10 years of a prior conviction or a fourth or subsequent DUI, is guilty of committing a third degree felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or five years imprisonment).

  • Any person who causes serious bodily injury while driving under the influence is guilty of committing a third degree felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or five years imprisonment) or as provided in section 775.084, Florida Statutes, if habitual/violent felony offender.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 316.193 (2)-(3) and/or 775.084, Florida Statutes.

Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide

  • DUI Manslaughter: Second degree felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).

  • DUI Manslaughter/Leaving the Scene: A driver convicted of DUI manslaughter who knew/should have known the crash occurred, but failed to give information or render aid is guilty of a first degree felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).

  • Vehicular Homicide: Second degree felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).

  • Vehicular Homicide/Leaving the Scene: A driver convicted of vehicular homicide who left the scene of a crash is guilty of a first degree felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to section 316.193 (3), Florida Statutes.

Driver License Revocation Periods for DUI

  • First offense without bodily injury: Minimum 180 days revocation, maximum one year.

  • First offense with bodily injury: Minimum three years revocation.

  • Second offense within five years from prior conviction: Minimum five years revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after one year.

  • Second offense five or more years after first conviction, the same revocation periods as first offense apply.

  • Third offense within 10 years of the second conviction: Minimum 10 years revocation. May be eligible for a hardship reinstatement after two years.

  • Third offense 10 or more years after the second conviction, the same revocation periods as first offense apply.

  • Fourth conviction, regardless of when prior convictions occurred: Mandatory permanent revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after five years. If incarcerated, the revocation period begins upon date of release from incarceration.

  • DUI manslaughter: Mandatory permanent revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after five years, if there are no prior DUI related convictions.

  • Manslaughter, DUI serious bodily injury or vehicular homicide convictions: Minimum three years revocation. DUI serious bodily injury having prior DUI conviction is the same as second – fourth bullet above.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 322.271 and 322.28, Florida Statutes.

Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Alcohol-Related Convictions/Disqualifications

  • Persons who are licensed to operate a CMV may be disqualified from operating a CMV for one year in several instances. Some of these disqualifying instances include:

    • Conviction for driving a CMV with a blood alcohol level of .04 or above;

    • Driving a CMV while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or refusing to submit to a test to determine the alcohol concentration while driving a CMV;

    • Driving a CMV while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance; or driving a CMV while in possession of a controlled substance.

NOTE: There are no provisions for persons disqualified from operating a CMV to obtain a hardship (business or employment) license to operate a CMV, and the information above is in addition to any provisions of section 316.193, Florida Statutes, for DUI convictions. Second or subsequent convictions of any of the above offenses arising out of separate incidents will result in a permanent disqualification from operating a CMV.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to section 322.61, Florida Statutes.

Review Hearings for Administrative Suspensions and Disqualifications

Sections 322.2615 and 322.64, Florida Statutes, authorize the DHSMV, upon the request of the driver, to conduct formal and informal reviews for the purpose of sustaining, amending, or invalidating administrative suspensions and disqualifications. The decisions of the DHSMV are not to be considered in any trial for a violation of section 316.193, Florida Statutes, nor are any written statements submitted by a person in his request for review admissible into evidence against him in any such trial. The disposition of any related criminal proceedings does not affect a suspension/disqualification.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 322.2615, 322.64, and 316.193, Florida Statutes.

Business or Employment Reinstatement

  • Suspension for driving with an unlawful alcohol level of .08 or above, or refusal to submit to breath, urine, or blood test, must show proof of enrollment in DUI school and apply for an administrative hearing for possible hardship reinstatement. For unlawful alcohol level, must serve 30 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. For first refusal, must serve 90 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. No hardship reinstatement for two or more refusals.

  • Suspension for persons under the age of 21 driving with a breath alcohol level of .02 or above, must complete a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course before hardship reinstatement. Persons with BAL of .05 or higher, must complete DUI program prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. Must serve 30 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement.

Individuals convicted of a DUI, may have their driver license privilege reinstated for business or employment purposes. To apply for a reinstatement, please see the following guidelines.

  • First conviction, must complete DUI school and apply to DHSMV for hearing for possible hardship reinstatement. Mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) for up to six months for BAL of .15.

  • Subsequent convictions, no hardship license except as provided below. Mandatory IID for one to two years if BAL is greater than .15.

  • Second conviction within five years, five-year revocation. May apply for hardship reinstatement hearing after one year. Must complete DUI school and remain in the DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period. Failure to report for counseling or treatment results in cancellation of the hardship license. Applicant may not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement. Mandatory IID for one to two years if BAL is greater than .15.

  • Third conviction within 10 years of a prior conviction, 10-year revocation. May apply for hardship reinstatement hearing after two years. Must complete DUI school and remain in the DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period. Failure to report for counseling or treatment results in the cancellation of the hardship license. Applicant may not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement. Mandatory IID for two years.

  • DUI manslaughter with no prior DUI-related conviction, permanent revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after five years have expired from date of revocation or from date of term of incarceration, provided the following requirements have been met:

  • Applicant has not been arrested for a drug-related offense for at least five years prior to the hearing;

  • Applicant has not driven a motor vehicle without a license for at least five years prior to the hearing;

  • Applicant has been alcohol and drug-free for at least five years prior to the hearing; and

  • Applicant must complete a DUI school and be supervised under the DUI program for the remainder of the revocation period. Failure to report for counseling or treatment results in cancellation of the hardship license.

If these requirements have been met, an IID is required for two years.

  • Manslaughter, DUI serious bodily injury, or vehicular homicide convictions, three-year revocation. May immediately apply for hardship reinstatement hearing. Must complete DUI school or advanced driver improvement course.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 322.271 and 322.28, Florida Statutes.

Hardship License Prohibited

  • Section 316.193, Florida Statutes, prohibits any hardship reinstatement upon second or subsequent suspension for test refusal or if driver has been convicted of DUI two or more times.

  • Persons disqualified from operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) cannot obtain a hardship license to operate a CMV.

Convictions that Require DUI School

  • First conviction, must complete DUI school before hardship reinstatement. Customers who wait until revocation period ends before reinstatement must show proof of enrollment or completion for driver license to be reinstated. If a customer enrolls and is reinstated after the revocation period expires, failure to complete the DUI school within 90 days after reinstatement will result in license cancellation. The driver license cannot be reinstated until DUI school is completed.

  • Second conviction in five years (five-year revocation) or third conviction in 10 years (10-year revocation), customer must complete DUI school following conviction.

  • DUI manslaughter with no prior DUI-related conviction, permanent revocation. Customers must complete DUI school before hardship reinstatement.

  • Customers who wait until revocation period expires must enroll in DUI school and pass the driver license exams to be reinstated. Failure to complete the school within 90 days after reinstatement will result in cancellation of the license until the school is completed.

  • Reckless driving, if the court has reason to believe that the use of alcohol, chemical or controlled substances contributed to a violation of reckless driving, the person convicted of reckless driving must complete DUI school if ordered by the court.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 316.193, 322.271 and 322.291, Florida Statutes.

Chemical or Physical Test Provisions – Implied Consent Law

  • Refusal to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test is admissible as evidence in DUI criminal proceedings. Second or subsequent refusal is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

  • Driver license suspension periods, first refusal, suspended for one year. Second or subsequent refusals, suspended for 18 months.

  • Commercial driver license disqualification periods: first refusal in a CMV, disqualified for one year; second or subsequent refusals in a CMV, disqualified permanently. No hardship reinstatement permitted.

  • Forceful withdrawal of blood, if necessary. Blood may be withdrawn in DUI cases involving serious bodily injury or death by authorized medical personnel with the use of reasonable force by the arresting officer, even if the driver refuses.

  • Unconscious, any person who is incapable of refusal by reason of unconsciousness or other mental or physical condition will be deemed not to have withdrawn his consent to such test. A blood test may be administered whether or not such person is told that his failure to submit to a blood test will result in the suspension of his privilege to operate a motor vehicle.

  • Portable alcohol breath testing devices authorized by section 322.2616, Florida Statutes, for persons under the age of 21. Reading is admissible as evidence in any administrative hearing conducted under section 322.2616, Florida Statutes.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 316.1932, 316.1933 and 316.1939, Florida Statutes.

Adjudication and Sentencing

All penalties for DUI convictions are imposed by the court, judges are prohibited from accepting a plea of guilty to a lesser-included offense, pursuant to section 316.656, Florida Statutes. The courts are prohibited from withholding adjudication in DUI cases or from reducing a DUI charge if the defendant’s blood alcohol was .15 or greater.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to section 316.656 Florida Statutes.

Administrative Suspension Law

  • First suspension for persons over the age of 21 with an alcohol level of .08 or above or persons under the age of 21 with an alcohol level of .02 or above, six months.

  • Second or subsequent suspensions for persons over the age of 21 with an alcohol level .08 or above or persons under the age of 21 with an alcohol level of .02 or above, one year.

  • First suspension for refusal to submit to breath, urine, or blood test, one year.

  • Second or subsequent suspensions for refusal, 18 months.

  • For persons under the age of 21: if the breath or blood alcohol level is .05 or higher, the suspension remains in effect until completion of a substance abuse evaluation and course.

The suspension is effective immediately. The officer will issue the driver a temporary permit valid for 10 days from the date of arrest, provided the driver is otherwise eligible. For persons under the age of 21, the temporary permit is not valid until 12 hours after issuance and is valid for 10 days, provided the driver is otherwise eligible.

Section 322.2616, Florida Statutes, authorizes law enforcement officers to lawfully detain and request a breath-alcohol test from any person, under the age of 21, who the officer has probable cause to believe is driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or having any alcohol level.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 322.2615, 322.2616, and 316.1932, Florida Statutes.

Administrative Disqualification Law for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operators

  • First disqualification for driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) while he or she is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or with an unlawful blood alcohol level (.04 or above), one year disqualification.

  • Second or subsequent disqualificationof driving a CMV while he or she is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, permanently disqualified.

  • First disqualification for refusal to submit to breath, urine, or blood test arising from the operation of a CMV, one year disqualification.

  • Second or subsequent disqualification for refusal to submit to breath, urine, or blood test arising from the operation of a CMV, permanently disqualified.

The disqualification is effective immediately upon refusal of the breath, urine, or blood test, or determination that the driver has a blood alcohol level of .08 or above, while operating or in actual physical control of a CMV or a non-commercial motor vehicle. The officer will issue the driver a temporary permit which is valid for 10 days from the date of arrest, provided the driver is otherwise eligible; however, the permit does not authorize the operation of a CMV, only for the operation of a non-commercial motor vehicle.

To review the complete statutory language, please refer to sections 322.61(3), (5), and 322.64(1)(a), Florida Statutes.

0

Leave a comment