Florida is known for its tropical climate, amusement parks, the Kennedy Space Center, and its miles and miles of beaches. Retirees consider the Sunshine State their number one choice of residence.
However, like almost all states in the country, Florida deals with everyday problems, and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is one of these. As indicated in the data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2019, Florida is right behind California in the most number of drivers involved in fatal crashes. This is why DUI is regarded as an offense under state laws, particularly if it is proven that the driver has .08-above breath or blood alcohol level.
When a person is arrested for DUI, Florida authorities institute fines – $500 to $2,000 for first offenders, and between $2,000 to $4,000 for those with a BAC of .15 or higher. Prison time, probation, and more or less 50 hours of community service are also implemented. Ignition interlock installation is also required, specifically for offenders who were convicted after July 01, 2002.
Offenders will also have their driving privileges revoked and their license suspended. They will only be able to drive again after their case is resolved. They can also apply for a restricted license for business purposes, but they will need to install an IID in their vehicle.
If you’ve been convicted of DUI in Florida, your license will be suspended for a period of several months to the rest of your lifetime. However, this will depend on the circumstances of your case.
License suspension is legally carried out if:
Your blood or breath sample is over the .08 limit.
Florida’s legal BAC limit is .08. If your blood alcohol goes over this level, your license will be revoked, and you won’t be able to use it for six months. The suspension will be in effect ten days after you were arrested. Since this is an administrative case, you can still be convicted of criminal charges if you are proven guilty of the DUI charges filed against you. You do not agree to a urine, blood, or breath test.
If you were stopped and suspected of DUI, you should freely submit to a breath test. While it is your legal right to refuse one, you will have to suffer the consequences – which, in this case, is the suspension of your driver’s license. Ten days after your arrest, your license suspension will start, and it will be good for one year.
If you refuse for the second time, the suspension will be longer at 18 months. After your DUI case is resolved, you can get back your license, but there is a legal process to follow.
Tips for Getting Back Your License After a Florida DUI Conviction
In Florida, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) handles license suspension and other administrative matters. You have to cooperate and coordinate with them. You will also have to work closely with a DMV office and your lawyer.
When you commit a DUI offense, you must face two cases: a civil administrative law case and a criminal case. A criminal case is more complicated and has heavier penalties, including prison time and probation.
A civil administrative case starts as soon as you are arrested. This is the part where your license is revoked/ or suspended.