Florida dui laws

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In the United States, local law enforcement agencies made 1,467,300 arrests nationwide for driving under the influence of alcohol in 1996, compared to 1.9 million such arrests during the peak year in 1983. In 1997 an estimated 513,200 DWI offenders were in prison or jail, down from 593,000 in 1990 and up from 270,100 in 1986.

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Florida?

Under 21 .02%
21 or older .08%
Commercial .04%

** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Florida?

Florida has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about Florida’s implied consent law.

  1st Offense 2d Offense 3rd Offense
Refusal to take test 1 year license suspension 18 month license suspension 18 month license suspension

What is the minimum jail time?

  1st Offense 2d Offense 3rd Offense
Minimum Jail No minimum jail term 10 days jail 30 days jail

Lookback Period: 5 years for a Second offense, 10 years for a third offense (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencingAlso known as a “washout” period.)

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Florida?

In some circumstances, a plea bargain of “wet reckless” might be accepted by the prosecution in Florida. A “wet reckless,” or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, is usually made as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. A plea bargain of wet reckless might occur when the amount of alcohol is borderline illegal, there was no accident, and the defendant has no prior record. But if there is a subsequent drunk driving conviction, the “wet reckless” is usually considered a prior drunk driving conviction; the resulting sentence can be what’s required for a second DUI/DWI conviction. If you are interested in trying to make a plea for a wet reckless, you’ll need the help of a lawyer.

1st Florida DUI Offense

First Drunk Driving Conviction (Note: BAL = Blood Alcohol Level)

  • Jail – 6 Months Maximum (BAL from .08 to less than .15)
  • Jail – 9 Months Maximum (BAL above .15)
  • Fine – From $500 to $1,000 (BAL from .08 to less than .15)
  • Fine – From $1,000 to $2,000 (BAL above .15) or Minor in Vehicle
  • License – Suspended from 180 Days to 1 Year
  • Hardship Reinstatement – Complete DUI School Prior to Hardship Application
  • Ignition Interlock Device – Up to 6 Months (Hardship Reinstatement BAL above.15)
  • Community Service Fine – $10 for Each Hour of Community Service Required
  • Community Service – 50 Hours
  • Treatment Program May Be Allowed in Lieu of Imprisonment
  • Vehicle Impound – 10 Days


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