What are the penalties for drinking and driving in Florida?

The penalties drivers in Florida face after driving intoxicated depend on the number of prior DUI convictions on their record.

When drivers in Florida operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.08, they may be found guilty of drinking and driving and charged with DUI, states the Florida State Legislature. However, the penalties drunk drivers face for this offense depend on the number of prior DUI convictions on their record.

First offense

Drivers who are charged with DUI for the first time may be required to pay a fine that amounts to $500, but does not exceed $1,000. However, if their BAC level was at or above 0.15 or if they had a minor with them in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, they may have to pay a fine of $1,000 to $2,000, states the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Drivers facing DUI charges for the first time may also be required to spend up to six months in prison, or up to nine months in prison if their BAC level was at or above 0.15 or if they had a minor with them in the vehicle when they were arrested.

Second offense

Upon a second conviction, drunk drivers may be required to pay a fine of $1,000 to $2,000, states the FDHSMV. However, if they had a minor with them in the vehicle or had a BAC level at or above 0.15 at the time of the arrest, they may be required to pay a fine of $2,000 to $4,000.

Drivers charged with drinking and driving for the second time may also be required to spend up to nine months in prison. However, if this is their second drunk driving offense within a 5-year time period, they will be required to serve a mandatory prison sentence of 10 days.

Third offense

According to the FDHSMV, drivers charged for drinking and driving for the third time may face the following penalties:

  • The requirement to pay a fine of $2,000 to $5,000
  • The requirement to pay a minimum fine of $4,000 if their BAC level was at or above 0.15 at the time of the arrest or if there was a minor with them in the vehicle
  • If it is their third conviction within 10 years, a mandatory prison sentence of at least 30 days exists

Additionally, drivers charged with DUI for the third time in over 10 years may be required to spend up to 12 months in prison.

Subsequent convictions

Fines, prison time and other penalties also exist for drivers who are charged with more than three DUIs. If you were arrested for drinking and driving in Florida and want to know what penalties you face, speak with an attorney in your area.

Keywords: DUI, drunk driving, arrest, charges

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