DUI Laws in Florida


Florida is known as the sunshine state and a favorite location for spring breakers and party-goers. As a result, they have had to enact several laws to keep a lid on the cases of drunk driving within the state.

Implied Consent Law

To begin with, the state has what is known as “Implied Consent Law” that is a consent form that must be signed when applying for a driver’s license. Under Florida’s implied consent law, motorists agree to subject themselves to field sobriety tests if they are pulled over on the suspicion of a DUI. Any refusal of the field sobriety test will result in an automatic suspension of their driver’s license for 18 months.

Florida’s Zero Tolerance for Drivers under 21

This law targets the high volumes of spring breakers that flock to Florida each year. It is not designed to be a party spoiler, but only to protect them from their own selves. Under Florida’s zero tolerance law, minors under 21 are not allowed to drive with a BAC lever exceeding 0.02. In effect, once you drink you simply do not drive. For those above 21, they are allowed to drive with a BAC level up to 0.08%.

Offenders of Florida’s zero tolerance law, first time offenders will receive a six-moth license suspension. Second time offenders will have their license suspended for 1 year. Both types of offenders must also attend law and substance abuse rehabilitation programs.

Florida First time DUI Offenders

Ina addition to the punishment metered out under the zero tolerance law, Florida’s first time offenders face up to 9 months prison time if their BAC level exceeds 9.0%. It gets worse if a minor was found in the vehicle. Under these circumstances, offenders must pay a fine between $500 and $1000. Florida DUI first time offenders also face probation of 1 year, a 10 day impound if the family of the offender has a second source of transportation and up to 50 hours mandatory community service in lieu of fines.

Florida Second time DUI Offenders

Second time offenders within the state of Florida upon conviction are first slapped with imprisonment of 9 months and up to 12 months if the second offence was committed within years of the first offence. They also must pay a fine between $500 and $1000 if their BAC level is below 2.0 and up to $ 2000 if higher.

Florida DUI second offenders also face a 9 month to 1-year license suspension. However, if this second offence is within five years of the first, their license will be suspended for a minimum of 5 years.

Finally, Florida DUI second time offenders must attend at least 21 hours at DUI school, face vehicle impound of 30 days if there is another source of transportation for the family, 1-year probation and community service at 10 per hour if they are unable to pay their fines.

Florida Criminal Status

In Florida, any DUI offence that results in property is considered a misdemeanor. While accidents causing serious bodily injury are categorized as 3rd degree felony. DUI accidents causing loss of life are categorized as either first or 2nd degree felonies. In addition, a third-time Florida DUI offence is classified a 3rd degree felony if it occurs within 10 of the first offence.

Originally posted 2016-12-11 15:20:48.