Florida has strict laws against driving under the influence. Even a first-time DUI conviction will result in losing your license for a minimum of six months. If you injured another party while driving intoxicated, the suspension period will be longer.
What Qualifies as a DUI in Florida?
According to Florida Statutes § 316.193, any person operating a vehicle in Florida is guilty of being under the influence (DUI) if they are not in control of their faculties, have a breath or blood alcohol concentration level (BAL) of 0.08 or higher, or are under the influence of a chemical substance or controlled substance. If a driver is under age 21, they are guilty of a DUI if they have a BAL of 0.02 or higher.
Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are legally intoxicated if they have a BAL of 0.04 or higher while driving under their CMV license. Additionally, if you will not submit to a BAL test at the request of law enforcement, you may face DUI penalties, including losing your license for one year for a first refusal.
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DUI Drivers Will Face Fines, Loss of a License, and Possible Jail Time
Those convicted of a DUI will face fines, loss of their license for at least 180 days, and other penalties, even for a first-time offense. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), the punishments for a first-time DUI not involving bodily injuries, property damages, or other violations include:
- Fines of no less than $500 but no more than $1,000 ($1,000 but no more than $2,000 if your BAL was 0.15 percent or higher or there were minor children in the vehicle)
- License revocation of at least 180 days up to one year
- A mandatory ten-day vehicle impoundment
- Community service
You may also serve up to six months in jail at the court’s discretion (nine months if your BAL was 0.15 percent or higher or there were minor children in the vehicle). The court may order that you attend a residential alcohol or drug treatment program with that time credited toward your imprisonment.
Penalties Increase If You Caused Bodily Injuries or Committed Other Crimes While Intoxicated
If you hurt or fatally injured another person, DUI punishments become more severe. According to the FLHSMV, if your first DUI offense resulted in bodily injuries to another party, you will lose your license for a minimum of three years. If your DUI results in a DUI manslaughter conviction, the court will permanently revoke your license.
Fines, potential jail time, and other penalties also significantly increase if your DUI led to another person’s injuries or death. Property damages and attempting to flee the scene (hit and run) will incur additional punishments as well, as will subsequent DUI offenses, especially if they occur within five to ten years of a prior conviction.
You Can Seek Reinstatement of Your License for Business or Employment Purposes
If you lose your license because of a DUI, you can request a hardship reinstatement due to business or employment needs. Reinstatement often comes with restrictions about where and when you may drive.
For a first conviction of driving with a BAL of 0.08 or higher, you may request reinstatement after 30 days of revocation (90 days if your conviction is for refusing to submit to a BAL). You must also enroll in and complete DUI school. If your BAL was 0.15 or higher, you must submit to mandatory installation of an Interlock Ignition Device (IID) on your vehicle.
If you are convicted of a DUI while driving with a CMV license, the court will disqualify you from operating a commercial vehicle for one year. However, you can seek a hardship reinstatement to operate a CMV.
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What Can a DUI Attorney Do for You?
Florida takes DUIs seriously, and even a first-time offense could mean imprisonment, an expensive fine, and up to one year without your license. Our DUI lawyers can help you fight your conviction. We know the state’s DUI laws, and we will prepare you for what may happen when you face your charges and the court system.
Our attorneys will attempt to secure a plea agreement to prevent you from going to trial. We will negotiate for the most lenient penalties possible for your case. We can also help with a review hearing in an effort to amend or invalidate your license suspension or revocation.
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Let Bogin, Munns & Munns Handle Your Case
If you face DUI charges, a lawyer from our firm can handle your case and take the burden of the legal process off your shoulders. Call Bogin, Munns & Munns at (407) 578-1334 to learn more about how our DUI attorneys can assist you with your case.
Call or text 855-780-9986 or complete our Request a Consultation form