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Learn the Basics of Florida DUI Charges

by | Jan 14, 2019 | Florida DUI

The Dunn Law Firm in Sarasota is ready to help you if you are charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). What is a DUI and what are the implications for you? Let’s look at the basics.


What is Driving Under the Influence? — A DUI charge can be made against you if you are driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any substance of combination of them which impairs your ability to drive can make you subject to a DUI charge. Drug DUI charges can even apply in some cases if you have a doctor’s prescription and have been advised not to drive or you end up impaired because of their use.

How is a DUI proven? — There are two things that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be convicted of a DUI for alcohol or drugs:

  • You had to be driving or in physical control of the vehicle
  • You were under the influence of alcohol, chemicals, controlled substances or a combination thereof which caused you to be impaired and not having normal faculties

If you have a blood alcohol level (BAC) above 0.08% and are driving, you will automatically be considered to be DUI. This blood alcohol limit is 0.04% for commercial drivers and 0.02% if you are under the age of 21. The last two groups will have their licenses suspended automatically.

What penalties exist for DUI convictions? — The penalties vary both by how many times you have received a DUI conviction and what your BAC was at the time.

First Florida DUI conviction —

  • Mandatory 50 hours of community service
  • Driver’s license suspended or revoked for 180 days to one year
  • License reinstatement fee
  • Must attend a DUI program
  • Fines are $500 to $100, doubled if there were minors in the car or BAC was above 0.15%
  • Interlock device on ignition possible
  • Increases in insurance premiums
  • Jail time can be a maximum of six months, or maximum of nine for higher BAC
  • Maximum one year of probation
  • Vehicle is impounded for 10 days

Second DUI conviction —

  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation is the same if the second conviction is longer than 5 years from the last; if within 5 years the revocation is for 5 years
  • License reinstatement fee
  • DUI Level 2 program
  • Fines of $1000 to $2000, doubled for minors in car or higher BAC as above
  • Insurance premium increases
  • Mandatory ignition interlock
  • Jail time maximum 9 months, up to 12 months for higher BAC
  • Vehicle impounded for 30 days

Third DUI conviction —

  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation:
    • Longer than 10 years since last conviction: 180 days to one year
    • Second and third offenses within 10 years: 10 years
    • Possibility of felony charges
  • License reinstatement fee
  • Advanced DUI program
  • Fines of $2000 to $5000, with a $4000 minimum for a minor in the car or higher BAC
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Mandatory 30 days in jail, with maximum one year for misdemeanor or up to five years for felony conviction
  • Mandatory ignition interlock
  • Vehicle impounded for 90 days

What are the penalties for drivers found to be DUI and under the age of 21? — You will receive an automatic suspension of six months for any driver under the age of 21 found to be driving under the influence. If the driver refuses to take any BAC test, they will lose their license for one year for the first offense of refusal and 18 months for the second refusal.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Florida, don’t try to manage it alone. You need the legal representation of the Dunn Law Firm to be your advocate, determine if your charges are legitimate, and help minimize the impact on your life. Contact Adam Dunn and the Dunn Law Firm today at 941-866-4352 for a consultation.

Sarasota DUI Facts | Sarasota Traffic Attorney