Drunk Driving Penalties in Florida

If you drink alcohol and drive you dramatically increase your chances of being in a crash. In addition, if you are pulled over and the officer asks you to take a blood, urine or breath test you are required to comply. Florida has the “Implied Consent Law.” When you sign your driver’s license you have agreed to take these tests upon request. Refusal to take any of the tests will result in an immediate suspension for one year. A second refusal will result in an 18 month suspension.

2011 DUI Statistics

According to Florida DMV records, there were 33,625 DUI convictions in Florida in 2011. Of the 55,722 DUI tickets issued in Florida in 2011 – 9,328 were issued by the FHP, 23,649 were issued by police departments in Florida, and 21,868 were issued by Florida Sheriffs departments.

2010 Florida DUI Convictions in the large Florida Counties

  • Hillsborough County (Tampa) – 3,256
  • Miami-Dade – (Miami) – 2,274
  • Duval County – (Jacksonville Area) – 2,222
  • Pinellas County (St Pete) – 1,824
  • Palm Beach County (West Palm Beach) – 1,561
  • Orange County (Orlando) – 1,383
  • Brevard County (Melbourne) – 1,072
  • Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) – 985

Ignition Interlock

Florida law mandates that any driver convicted of a second DUI have an Ignition Interlock device installed in their vehicle. A judge may order an Interlock installed for first convictions depending on circumstances. Read the details of the Florida Ignition Interlock program.

No one can drink alcohol and still drive safely. Drinking and driving causes accidents and deaths every day, and, therefore, the penalties in Florida are very tough. If you drink and drive the result may be jail time, loss of your Florida drivers license, heavy fines, and much higher auto insurance rates. And a conviction will stay on your Florida driving record for 75 years.

Zero Tolerance for Drivers under 21

Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21. This means that any driver under 21 that is stopped by law enforcement and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their Florida drivers license suspended for 6 months. The .02 limit really means that you cannot have a single drink and drive. And that’s the idea.

For drivers over 21, the legal limit in Florida is .08. Regardless of your age be aware that drinking and driving is considered a serious offense. Below we have summarized the penalties in the state of Florida for a first offense DUI, but the average cost including legal defense, fines, and auto insurance increases is $8000.

Florida Penalties for First DUI Conviction

  • Fine – $250 to $500
  • Community Service – 50 Hours
  • Probation – Not more than 1 Year
  • DUI School – 12 Hours
  • Imprisonment – Not more than 6 Months
  • Imprisonment with BAC of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
  • License Revocation – Minimum of 180 days

Additional DUI Convictions

The penalties listed above are for a first DUI conviction. With each additional DUI conviction, the penalties in Florida are more severe. Complete details on Florida DUI penalties can be found in the Florida drivers manual.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI or DWI and are seeking legal counsel, please contact The Curry Law Group. We invite you to fill out the form on this page or give our office a call.