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What are the penalties for drunk driving in Florida?

Individuals who are facing drunk driving charges may have serious concerns about the potential penalties they face and questions as to what they might be. The potential penalties and consequences for drunk driving charges can vary depending on the circumstances. For instance, an individual who has their second DUI offense is required in Florida to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. In addition, an ignition interlock device may be required for a first DUI offense in some circumstances.

Likewise, the age of the driver accused of a DUI may also impact the potential penalties and consequences the accused individual faces. Florida has a zero tolerance law for underage drinking and driving. For drivers under the age of 21, the legal limit in Florida to drive is .02. For drivers over the age of 21, the legal limit is .08. Underage drivers accused of drunk driving can have their driver's license automatically suspended for 6 months.

Drunk driving penalties can have a substantial impact the personal and professional lives of an accused individual. Penalties for a first DUI offense include up to 6 months in jail; license revocation for a minimum of 180 days; a fine ranging from $250 to $500; a requirement to attend DUI school; 50 hours of community service; and probation for up to 1 year. During 2010, there were 3,256 DUI convictions in Hillsborough County. Individuals accused of a DUI can face a criminal record, possible jail time, fines and other serious penalties and consequences.

Because of the high stakes of a DUI charge, it is important for accused individuals to be familiar with how to respond to both the potential criminal penalties they face and the administrative consequences they may face as well. Criminal defense options may be able to help accused individual reduce the charges or potential penalties they are faced with which makes it worthwhile for them to know what their options are.

Source: DMVFlorida.org, "Florida Drunk Driving," Accessed April 11, 2018

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