A 2024 Guide to DUI Laws and Penalties in Florida

Albert Quirantes, Esq.

Albert Quirantes, Esq.

2024 Guide to DUI Laws

Current Florida law states that any person with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams per 100 mL of blood is considered to be under the influence. Also, anyone whose breath-alcohol level is 0.08 grams of alcohol per 210 litres of breath is also considered to be under the influence.

If you believe you have been wrongly accused of DUI, Miami criminal defense attorney, Albert Quirantes Esq. Criminal DUI & Ticket Lawyer may be able to help you get your case, dismissed, avoid penalties or at least minimize their severity. 

Definition of Impairment

There is more to being charged for DUI than the BAC (breath or blood alcohol concentration) level and that is when the police officer observes a driver who is driving erratically. You can be arrested even if the breathalyzer test doesn’t show a BAC of more than 0.08. The officer can testify to your signs of impairment and the results of Roadside exercises to satisfy the burden of proof of DUI. 

However, Florida law does require that the driver arrested for alleged DUI must show some use of drugs or alcohol otherwise a DUI charge can’t be enforced. 

DUI Penalties in Florida

The more often you get convicted for DUI in Florida, the higher the penalties. Florida also modifies the penalties for all DUIs if the driver shows a BAC of more than 0.15, or if a minor is present in the vehicle. The convictions for DUI and the potential penalties are described below.

  • The 1st conviction attracts a $500 to $1,000 fine plus up to 6 months in jail. If the BAC is more than 0.15 or if a minor is present in the vehicle, the fine is likely to be higher, from $1,000 to $2,000 and possibly up to 9 months in jail.
  • The 2nd conviction attracts harsher penalties than a 1st DUI, and in addition, an interlock ignition device must be installed on each vehicle the offender owns either in full or in part for at least 12 months. However, if the BAC is more than 0.15 or a minor was in the vehicle at the time, the fines rise to $2,000-$4,000 with up to 12 months in jail, and a FIVE years driver’s license revocation, if the second arrest occurred within five years of the last conviction. If not, the penalties are the same as a first offense, except that there is no hardship driver’s license available to those suspended for up to one year.
  • The 3rd conviction is considered a felony if less than ten years have passed since the 2nd conviction. This attracts a fine from $2,000-$5,000 and compulsory jail time of 30 days. Also imposed are 2 years of installation of an ignition interlock device. If a minor is in the vehicle at the time a fine of no less than $4,000 is imposed plus 12 months compulsory jail time. If a DUI conviction takes place after 10 years of a 2nd conviction a $2,000-$5,000 fine may be imposed plus up to 12 months of jail time, and a 10 year license revocation.
  • The 4th conviction is marked as a felony, regardless of the amount of time which has passed. This could lead to a $2,000 fine and 5 years in jail as well as a permanent driver’s license revocation. If a minor is in the vehicle at the time or the BAC is more than 0.15 this could attract a $4,000 fine.

Florida DUI Probation and Classes

Anyone who is convicted of a DUI must complete 12 month’s minimum probation time and 50 hours of community service. Also, a substance abuse course must be attended and an evaluation conducted when it is finished.

As well as attending a substance abuse class, most DUI defendants must attend a DUI class before their license is reinstated.

Further Penalties for a DUI in Florida

As well as penalties already mentioned all vehicles that have been involved in a DUI will be impounded, with the length determined on the number of convictions the car owner has. Additional penalties are also added if someone has been injured or killed in an accident involving DUI. 

All arrests or convictions for DUI can be defended as there may be circumstances that have been overlooked like a faulty breathalyzer giving out inaccurate BAC results. To ensure you aren’t convicted for a DUI offense that there is no proof you committed you should contact the Law Firm of Miami Criminal Defense Attorney, Albert Quirantes Esq. Criminal DUI & Ticket Lawyers, for help defending your charge.  Call 305-644-1800 to make an appointment to discuss your defense options. 

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