It is important to note that there are two separate types of penalties and consequences individuals accused of drunk driving in Florida may face. Accused individuals may face criminal penalties as well as administrative consequences associated with drunk driving charges. In Florida, accused individuals can have their driver’s license suspended and, in addition to administrative penalties, may also face stiff criminal penalties.
Accused individuals who have a blood alcohol content level of .08 or above, or refuse to a take a breath, blood or urine test after being arrested for DUI, may have their driver’s license automatically suspended unless they submit a written demand for an administrative hearing that is filed within 10 days following their arrest. Criminally, those charged with drunk driving may face jail, fines, probation, the requirement that an ignition interlock device be installed on their car, DUI classes, community service and impounding their car.
Refusing to submit to a breath, blood or urine test the first time can result in driver’s license suspension of a year. A second refusal when an individual has previously had their license suspended for a refusal to submit to a breath, blood or urine test can result in driver’s license suspension of 18 months and a separated misdemeanor charge of refusal which may be punished by up to one year in jail.
The process of challenging administrative penalties and defending against potential criminal penalties stem from drunk driving charges can be overwhelming and complex. As a result, accused individuals should thoroughly understand their criminal defense options and rights when facing DUI charges.