What to Do When Charged With a DUI in Florida

Hire an experienced Florida DUI Lawyer or a competent drunk driving defense attorney who is experienced in the Florida DUI laws.
Understanding the Florida DUI laws and courtroom proceedings that accompany it can be a major challenge. Hiring a qualified Florida DUI attorney whose legal practice concentrates on drunk driving cases can make a difference in the outcome of your drunk driving charge.
Florida DUI Education – First-time Offenders
Florida DUI Information:
Driving with an illegal alcohol level (DUBAL) (.08) results in an immediate License Suspension.
According to Florida DUI statutes, your license will be suspended as of the arrest date for 6 months for the first offense and one year for any other offense of DUBAL. You will be given a 10-day permit on the date of the arrest. Once the permit has expired, then 30 days of the suspension must be served before the driver is eligible to apply for a hardship license.
Eligibility for a Hardship License in the state of Florida
You will be eligible for a hardship license on the first and any consecutive suspension, unless you have been convicted of a DUI in Florida two or more times. Under the Florida DUI law, you must provide proof of enrollment in a driving under the influence school to the Administrative Reviews Office in order to be considered for a hardship license.
If given approval to reinstate early for hardship, you must present this approval to the driver’s license office. At the time of reinstatement, whether for a hardship license or a full license, you must take the required examination, and pay $115 administrative fee and $35 reinstatement fee and any license fee required. Proof of liability insurance on the arrest date will be required or proof of liability coverage and a $15 reinstatement fee will be required.
Conditions for DUI Test Refusals
If you refuse to submit either to a breath or urine test, Florida DUI statutes require that your license be suspended as of the arrest date for a minimum of one year for the first offense and 18 months for any consecutive offenses. You will be given a 10-day permit on the date of arrest and when the permit expires, you must serve 90 days of the suspension before the driver is eligible to apply for a hardship license on the first suspension. No hardship license is permitted if you have refused to submit two or more times. You must provide proof of enrollment in a DUI school to the Administrative Reviews Office for consideration for a hardship license. If given approval to reinstate early for hardship, you must present this approval to the driver license office. At the time of reinstatement, whether for a hardship license or a full license, you must take the required examination, pay a $115 administrative fee, a $35 reinstatement fee and any license fees required. Under Florida DUI law, proof of liability insurance on the arrest date will be required or proof of liability coverage and a $15 reinstatement fee will be required.
Penalties for a DUI in Florida
First DUI – 180 day to 1 year revocation effective on conviction date.
Before the expiration of the revocation period, you may apply for a hardship license in the county where you live. DUI School completion and treatment, if referred, is required. You then can apply for a hardship license in any Administrative Reviews Office.
If you wait to reinstate your license until your revocation period ends, proof of enrollment or completion of DUI School and treatment, if referred, is required.
At the time of reinstatement, whether for a hardship license or a full license, you must take the required examination, and pay $115 administrative fee and $60 reinstatement fee and any license fee required. Proof of liability insurance on the arrest date will be required or proof of liability coverage and a $15 reinstatement fee will be required.
A second DUI conviction in more than 5 years will result in a 180 day to 1 year revocation. You cannot reinstate early for hardship. The full revocation period must be served before you may request a driver license reinstatement. The second DUI conviction within a five-year period will result in a five-year revocation. You may apply for a hardship license at the Administrative Reviews Office after serving one year from the effective date of revocation. DUI School, and treatment, if referred, must be completed and you must have a favorable recommendation from the Special Supervision Services Program to be eligible for a hardship license. If given approval to reinstate early for hardship, you must present this approval to the driver license office. You must remain in the Special Supervision Services Program for the duration of the revocation period to retain your hardship license. If you wait to reinstate until after your revocation period ends, proof of enrollment or completion of DUI School, and treatment, if referred, is required.
At the time of reinstatement, whether for a hardship license or a full license, you are required to take the specified examination, pay a $115 administrative fee, a $60 reinstatement fee and any additional license fees required. Proof of liability insurance on the arrest date will be required or proof of liability coverage and a $15 reinstatement fee will be required.
Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
Florida DUI statues require an ignition interlock device to be installed on the vehicles of certain persons convicted of DUI in Florida. The ignition interlock program affects those arrested and convicted of DUI after July 1, 2002. This is applicable upon eligibility of reinstatement for a permanent or restricted driver’s license. The ignition interlock device is also required when a driver convicted of DUI in Florida applies for a restricted license for work or business purposes. Two ignition interlock vendors were selected by the State of Florida.
If the person is otherwise eligible, a driver’s license will be issued with a restriction indicating that the interlock device is required. The required time period for interlock officially begins on the day the “P” interlock restriction is issued.
Costs to the Defendant
The cost (plus tax) to the convicted person for an ignition interlock device is:
o $70 for installation
o $67.50 for monthly monitoring and calibration
o $100 refundable deposit
o Or a $5 monthly insurance charge will be assessed. Driving Under the Influence Of Drugs in the State of Florida
DUI (Driving Under the Influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances or controlled substances). s. 316.193, F.S.
Under Florida law, DUI is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of.08 or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same according to Florida DUI laws, regardless of the manner in which the offense is proven.
Fine Schedule For A DUI In Florida
First Conviction for a DUI in Florida:
o Not less than $250, or more than $500.
o With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of.20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $500, or more than $1,000.
Second Conviction for best schools for public interest law a DUI in Florida:
o Not less than $500, or more than $1,000.
o With BAL of.20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000.
Community Service First Conviction:
o Mandatory 50 hours of community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required.
Florida DUI Probation and First conviction
Total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year.
Imprisonment:
At the court’s discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, credited toward the term of imprisonment.
First Conviction:
Not more than 6 months.
With BAL of.20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 9 months.
Second Conviction: current legal cases
Not more than 9 months.
With BAL of.20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 12 months.
If the second conviction happens within 5 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days will follow. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.
Impoundment or Immobilization
Unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation
o First conviction = 10 days
o Second conviction within 5 years = 30 days
o Third conviction within 10 years = 90 days
Impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with incarceration.
The court may dismiss the order of impoundment of any vehicles that are owned by the defendant if they are operated solely by the employees of the defendant or any business owned by the defendant.
Conditions for Release of Persons Arrested for DUI in Florida
o The person is no longer under the influence
o The person’s normal faculties are no longer impaired
o The person’s blood/breath alcohol level is lower than 0.05; or
o Eight hours have elapsed from the time the person was arrested.
Misdemeanor Conviction of DUI in Florida
Accident Involving Property Damage or Personal Injury:
Any person who causes property damage or personal injury to another while driving under the influence is guilty of a First Degree Misdemeanor (not more than $1,000 fine or 1-year imprisonment).
Florida DUI Felony Conviction
Repeat Offenders or Accidents Involving Serious Bodily Injury:
Any person convicted of a third DUI within 10 years or a fourth or subsequent DUI commits a Third Degree Felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment). Any person who causes serious bodily injury while driving under the influence is guilty of a Third Degree Felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment) or if habitual/violent felony offender.
Driver’s License Revocation Periods for DUI in Florida
At the end of the First Conviction: Minimum 180 days revocation, maximum 1 year.
Second Conviction Within 5 Years: Minimum 5 years revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 1 year. Other 2nd offenders same as “A” above.
Third Conviction Within 10 Years: Minimum 10 years revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 2 years. Other 3rd offenders same as “A” above. one conviction more than 10 years prior and one within 5 years, same as “B” above.
Fourth Conviction, Regardless of When Prior Convictions Occurred) and Murder with Motor Vehicle: Mandatory permanent revocation. No hardship reinstatement.
Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) Alcohol-Related Convictions or Disqualifications
Persons convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of.04 or above or refusing to submit to a test to determine the alcohol concentration while driving a commercial motor vehicle, driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, or driving a commercial motor vehicle while in possession of a controlled substance shall be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 1 year. Second or subsequent conviction of any of the above offenses arising out of separate incidents will result in a permanent disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle. There are no provisions for persons disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle to obtain a hardship (business or employment) license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
DUI School Requirements in Florida
First Conviction:
Must complete the mandated tenure the DUI school before the hardship reinstatement could take place. Individuals who wait out the revocation period before reinstatement need only show proof of enrollment or completion to become re-licensed.
If an individual enrolls and is reinstated after the revocation period expires, failure to complete the DUI school within 90 days after reinstatement will result in license cancellation. The driver cannot then be re-licensed until the DUI school tenure is completed.
Second Conviction in 5 Years (5-Year Revocation) or Third Conviction in 10 Years (10-Year Revocation):
Customers must complete their DUI school tenure following a conviction.

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