Florida DUI Laws

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    • A Florida DUI conviction stays on the driving record for 75 years.driving 4 image by Andrzej Borowicz from Fotolia.com

      Drunk driving can have disastrous consequences for the driver and anyone on the road with him or her. Florida, like every other state, has set a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater as the threshold for drunk driving. Driving under the influence of drugs can also result in convictions. According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles' most recent statistics, more than 34,000 people were convicted of driving under the influence in 2006. A Florida DUI conviction will stay on a driving record for 75 years.

    Underage Drivers

    • An underage drivers who registers a blood alcohol content of .02 or greater will lose his or her license for up to six months. Other penalties can result. These drivers must also keep in mind that if their blood alcohol level is .08 or greater or they are found to be under the influence of drugs, they can face standard DUI penalties.

    First Offense

    • The first DUI conviction can lead to a jail sentence up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000. Having a minor in the car or a BAC of .15 or greater can increase the fine up to $2,000 and result in a nine-month sentence, as the court considers these aggravating factors. The court will revoke the driver’s license for at least 180 days and up to one year. The court will also order 50 hours of community service. All defendants must enroll in a DUI school in order to get their licenses back and complete the class within 90 days of reinstatement, if they have not already taken it. A defendant seeking early reinstatement for hardship must complete the class before getting his or her license back.

    Second Offense

    • Defendants will face the penalties of a second conviction if it occurs within five years of their first. Fines range from $1,000 to $2,000 for a standard offense, while an elevated BAC or minor in the vehicle can result in a total fine of up to $4,000. Jail time can range from nine months to 12 months with the previously mentioned aggravating factors. The law requires defendants serve at least 10 days. The court will revoke the driver’s license for five years, but some can qualify for reinstatement after one year. These offenders must enroll in DUI school immediately following their conviction.

    Third Offense

    • A third DUI conviction in Florida within 10 years constitutes a felony, which can result in a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000. The law mandates a sentence of at least 30 consecutive days. The presence of the aggravating factors will result in a fine of at least $4,000. A felony third conviction will result in a loss of license for 10 years, with the possibility of a hardship reinstatement after two years. The penalties that arise from third-time offenses that occur after 10 years will differ. The court will also order enrollment in DUI school following the conviction.

    Fourth Offense

    • A fourth conviction, regardless of the amount of time elapsed since the third, will constitute a felony, with a fine of at least $2,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years. A fourth conviction results in a permanent loss of license with no option for hardship reinstatement.

    Ignition Interlock Devices

    • Ignition interlock devices measure the amount of alcohol on the breath and prevent the engine from starting if it detects a certain amount. First-time Florida offenders will have to install one if their blood alcohol content exceeds .15. Second- and third-time offenders will have to install one for one to two years.

    Other Offenses

    • Drivers must keep in mind that if, when driving under the influence, they cause property damage, injuries or deaths, they will face stiffer penalties that they would for just driving in that state. For example, any DUI offender who causes serious injury or death will face felony charges.

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