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What You Need To Know About Florida’s DUI Laws and Penalties

What You Need To Know About Florida’s DUI Laws and Penalties

Like other states, driving while intoxicated is against the law in Florida. Not only do impaired drivers face criminal penalties for driving while under the influence, but they also put others on the road in significant danger.

Impaired driving is one of the most common causes of vehicular collisions. Drunk driving accidents often result in severe injuries and sometimes even death. 

Understanding Florida DUI Laws

Under Florida law, being under the influence involves impairment from alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances proven by physical incapacity or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit. For the purposes of a DUI in Florida, it is illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle. 

Generally, the legal alcohol limit in Florida is .08% BAC. This is referred to as the “per se” BAC. There is a special zero-tolerance BAC concerning the level of intoxication for drivers under the legal drinking age, which is .02% in Florida. 

Along with the legal drinking limit in Florida, there is also an enhanced BAC, meaning anything above a certain percentage can result in more severe penalties. In Florida, drivers with a BAC of .15% or higher often face substantial consequences, especially if they’ve caused an car accident

Florida DUI Penalties

Consequences for DUI in Florida depend on the circumstances, including the number of DUI convictions a person has. Penalties can include fines and jail time. 

Fines

For the first conviction, fines are no less than $500 or more than $1,000. However, if BAC is .15% or higher, or there is a minor in the vehicle, fines are no less than $1,000 or more than $2,000.

For a second conviction, fines are no less than $1,000 or more than $2,000. For enhanced BAC, or if there was a child in the car, fines are no less than $2,000 or more than $4,000.

Fines for third convictions depend on the timeline of convictions. For a third conviction within 10 years from the last offense, fines are no less than $2,000 or greater than $5,000. If the BAC is .15% or higher, or if a minor was in the vehicle, fines are no less than $4,000.

If the third conviction is more than ten years from the prior one, fines are no less than $2,000 but no more than $5,000. For enhanced BAC or if there was a child in the car, fines are no less than $4,000.

Fourth or subsequent convictions may involve fines of no less than $2,000, or if BAC is more than .15% or children are in the vehicle, no less than $4,000.

Jail

Based on the specifics of the offense, a DUI conviction may result in jail time.

For first-time convictions, imprisonment is no more than six months unless there is an enhanced BAC or minors involved, in which case imprisonment is no more than nine months.

Second convictions come with imprisonment of no more than nine months unless:

  • BAC is .15% or higher, or children are in the car
  • The second conviction is within five years of the first

Third convictions can result in mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days if the conviction is within 10 years of the second. If the third conviction is more than 10 years later, imprisonment is not longer than 12 months. 

For fourth or subsequent convictions, prison time is no more than five years or as provided by Florida law. 

Suffering Injuries in a Drunk Driving Accident

Along with facing criminal repercussions, impaired drivers can also cause serious accidents, resulting in injuries and fatalities. If you’ve suffered harm in a drunk driving accident, seek legal representation right away. A personal injury attorney can protect your rights and pursue the justice you deserve.

Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer from Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.

We proudly serve Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and its surrounding areas:

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 223-6200

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
(727) 493-4418

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 314-5988

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 910-5060

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805
(863) 251-6196

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