2024 Florida DUI Laws and Penalties – All You Need to Know

2024 Florida DUI Laws and Penalties – All You Need to Know

Whether you’ve been charged after previously driving under the influence or facing your first DUI offense, you won’t want to face the legal proceedings blindly and on your own. Get an accomplished Florida DUI Lawyer who can accompany you through the legal process.

Laws Concerning DUIs in Florida

A blood or breath alcohol level (BAL) of 0.08% or more is considered a DUI offense, and you can be taken into custody as a result. DUIs also include intoxication from drugs. Legal drugs, such as prescription medications, may apply too, if proven to have impaired you and your ability to drive safely.

These same rules apply for minor drivers (under the legal age of 21) with a 0.02% BAL or higher. Commercially licensed drivers, those who drive large vehicles such as trucks/buses, found to have a BAL of 0.04% or higher are also acting outside of the law.

Even if you are found to be within the legal limits of substances in your system, you may still be arrested if deemed (or claimed) by an officer’s discretion that you were impaired while a vehicle was under your control. You can be taken into custody, and if there’s sufficient evidence to prove that you were under the influence, a conviction is possible.

In Florida, there’s a law stating drivers’ “implied consent” to be subject to BAL chemical tests. Refusing to participate in a blood or breath test after you have been arrested results in losing your license for at least one year and up to a $1,000 fine. This refusal could also be used against you if you end up in court. In contrast, sobriety tests in the field are subjective and not legally mandatory, so their “conclusions” are not always admissible.

What Punishments Can Follow a DUI Conviction in FL?

For a non-aggravated first DUI, you’ll likely see a $500-1,000 fine with imprisonment for up to six months, your car impounded for ten days, and your license revoked for 180 days to one year. If someone sustained bodily injury, you’ll have your license suspended for at least three years. The court may also demand an ignition interlock device (IID) to be installed for six months.

With an aggravated 1st DUI offense (BAL 0.15% or if a minor was in the vehicle), you’ll likely receive a fine of up to $1,000-2,000 and be sentenced to up to nine months in prison. Upon release, you’ll get a mandatory six-month installation of an IID on your vehicle.

For a second DUI offense, within five years of the first conviction, you will be fined $1,000-2,000 and sentenced to up to nine months in prison (mandatory 10 days minimum). Your vehicle will impounded for 30 days, and your license revoked for at least five years. If a minor was present or the driver was found to have an especially high BAL, the offender will be fined an additional $2,000-$4,000 and sentenced to one year in prison. In some cases, you may be able to apply for a hardship license after a year.

If you get a third DUI, you’ll get a $2,000-5,000 fine and, if aggravated, a minimum $4,000 fine. If it’s within 10 years of the previous offense, there is a mandatory minimum of 30 days imprisonment, up to five years. Your car is to be impounded for 90 days, and you’ll have a minimum license revocation of 10 years. A hardship license application is possible after two years.

For a fourth DUI charge, there is a minimum $2,000 fine and a permanent loss of your license, regardless of prior conviction dates. You may apply for a hardship license after five years.

Additional penalties for drastic circumstances include:

  • Damage to property or injury to a person adds a $1,000 fine and/or up to a year in jail and license revocation for a minimum of three years.
  • Serious bodily injury can lead to up to $5,000 in fines and/or up to five years in prison.
  • A DUI manslaughter (an accident that results in a fatality) has up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to 15 years imprisonment, as well as permanent license revocation.
  • DUI hit-and-run offenses have up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to 30 years imprisonment.


Q: What Is the 10-Day Rule for DUI in Florida?

A: After a DUI arrest, you must challenge the automatic license suspension within 10 days. If not, you can lose it for several months or years. You may drive for those 10 days as your DUI citation ticket acts as a permit.

Depending on your defense, there will either be a full or partial suspension or reinstatement of your license. Even if you decide to pursue a criminal trial, moving forward with a DUI attorney early within these 10 days is crucial.

Q: What Are the Typical Penalties for a DUI in the State of Florida?

A: The punishments for a DUI range from fines to prison time, as well as license suspension, vehicle impoundment, and other punishments. The penalties you face depend on the specific case details, including if there are any prior DUI arrests and how severe or aggravated it is. Non-mandated penalties are also the difficulties you could face with a permanent DUI conviction on your record, such as struggling to obtain employment or housing.

Q: How Likely Is Jail Time for the First DUI in Florida?

A: Jail time is mandatory if you’re found guilty and convicted. Depending on the circumstances, a first offense can have a lighter sentence if it was non-aggravated or if there are no priors. A first offense would receive a sentence of up to six months in prison or nine months if aggravated.

The help of a DUI attorney can minimize or drop the charges/penalties. As always, it’s up to the court if a sentence can be served in alternative settings like rehab, treatment programs, etc.

Q: Can a First-Time DUI Be Dismissed in Florida?

A: Yes, it is possible. Depending on the case, your attorney may be able to get DUI charges dropped. However, you shouldn’t be mistaken that a first offense won’t result in serious penalties. Even if you are not convicted of this offense, the arrest will likely remain on your permanent record and bring subsequent disadvantages.

Get Legal Representation from Kevin A. Raudt, P.A.

Whether you’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated for the first time or you’re facing your fourth offense, there are many unpleasant effects it could have on your life. By contacting a criminal defense lawyer from Kevin A. Raudt, P.A., you can improve your chances of getting back to your life sooner.

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