DUI DUI Laws DUI Lawyer Costs DUI School Fitness Laws

DUI Laws in Florida

ARTICLE OVERVIEW:Have you ever just lately been charged with a DUI in Florida? You’re not alone. We’ll let you understand what occurs in the authorized course of and the way rehab may assist. This text evaluations legal guidelines penalties, and common authorized procedures for DUIs in Florida.




When individuals discuss with a DUI, they’re saying “driving under the influence”. When individuals discuss with a DWI, they’re saying “driving while intoxicated [1]. Both acronyms are used when someone drives under the influences of a psychoactive substance.

In the state of Florida, there usually is no difference between a DUI or DWI. Both terms refer to alcohol or drug-related driving incidents.

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or more or if you drive while impaired on drugs…you can be arrested. The legal BAC for anyone over 21 is 0.08%. If you’re under 21, then the legal limit is 0.02%. By not following these laws, you will be charged with a DUI or DWI.

Some people become confused by the two definitions. Some states use a DUI when strictly discussing driving under the influence of alcohol while a DWI refers to driving while intoxicated on drugs. This is true in Florida, as well. What you’re charged with entirely depends on the county you’re in and the circumstances of your situation.


In the state of Florida, you may run into a checkpoint while driving, especially on a night associated with partying, such as Friday or Saturday. Sobriety checkpoints give police permission to stop vehicles at specific, highly visible locations to see whether or not the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An officer may give out breath tests if s/he has a suspicion that the driver is intoxicated.

What happens if you run into this situation?

If you’re pulled over, you’ll need to comply with the checkpoint protocol. If you refuse a test altogether, administrative license revocation or suspension laws give officers the right to arrest you. If your breathalyzer test reveals you have a BAC higher than the legal limit to drive, you’ll be arrested.

Legal Process

When arrested for a DUI, the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend and take away your license. From there, you’ll be given the chance to a hearing in a court of law. The outcome of this hearing entirely depends on your situation. The following penalties are most common:

  • Completion of DUI School
  • Delay in Driver’s License
  • Fine
  • Jail time

Whatever penalty you receive as well as the charge already made against you will be placed on record. This is for the sake keeping Florida state courts informed if you were to be convicted again in the future. When you already have one DUI under your belt, penalties worsen upon consecutive DUIs.

A “Wet Reckless” Plea Discount

Upon going to courtroom, it’s in anybody’s greatest curiosity to reduce their offense. In Florida, many individuals try the plea discount of moist reckless. This can be a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol and may result in lesser penalties [2].

A moist reckless is obtainable when:

  • No accident occurred.
  • The quantity of alcohol was barely unlawful.
  • The defendant has no prior DUI or felony document.

You’ll want to speak to a lawyer to see in the event you’re answerable for a moist reckless. Although you’ll nonetheless should pay some worth for driving underneath the affect, this may be your alternative to obtain a lesser consequence, study out of your mistake, and ensure it doesn’t occur once more.

Misdemeanor or Felony

The classification of your DUI will rely upon the circumstances of your state of affairs. Any DUI may result in both a misdemeanor or a felony. Nevertheless, most DUIs are sometimes categorized as a misdemeanor which ends up in:

  • A advantageous
  • Group service
  • Counseling
  • Jail time
  • Probation

A case often solely outcomes in a felony if another person is both harm or killed in an accident as a result of driving whereas underneath the affect of medicine or alcohols. Nevertheless, it’s useful to know that DUI felonies and misdemeanors alike are divided into courses to raised match numerous crimes [3]. For instance, in case your DUI outcomes in the dying of one other, you maintain the good danger of a second-degree felony which may outcome in a $10,000 advantageous and 15 years in jail.

1st DUI

Like many states in the nation, Florida needs to do all it could to stop you from breaking the regulation in the longer term. Subsequently, it’s in their greatest curiosity to show you moderately than punish you.
Upon receiving your first DUI in Florida, you’ll obtain a misdemeanor which may end result in the next penalties [4]:

  • A 180-day to 1-year license suspension
  • A fantastic between $500 and $2,000
  • Jail time of as much as 6 months
  • Required interlock ignition system

2nd DUI

Upon receiving a second DUI in Florida, you’ll once more be charged with a misdemeanor which may end result in the next penalties:

  • A 5-year license suspension that may be lowered to 1 yr
  • A high quality between $1,000 and $four,000
  • Jail time of as much as 9 months
  • Required interlock ignition gadget

third DUI

Upon receiving a 3rd DUI in Florida, you’ll once more be charged with a misdemeanor which provides you with the next penalties:

  • A 10-year license suspension that may be lowered to 2 years
  • A high-quality between $2,000 and $5,000
  • Jail time between 30 days and 5 years
  • Required interlock ignition gadget

Jail Time

Will you obtain jail time for a DUI in Florida?

Once more, it completely is determined by your state of affairs. Nevertheless, jail time IS a robust risk. Actually, there’s a extra possible probability for jail time if the next is hooked up to your DUI:

  • Somebody was harm on account of your DUI.
  • You refuse checkpoint testing.
  • You enter a plea discount.

Should you’re dealing with a primary offense DUI, likelihood is your dealing with little to no jail time, as much as 6 months most. If DUIs start to pile up, then you definitely’ll begin to see heavier jail sentences. Individuals are typically in danger for a better jail sentence for the next causes:

  • They’re beneath the age of 21.
  • The have a BAC over zero.15%.
  • That they had a toddler beneath the age of 14 in the automotive.
  • They have been driving over the velocity restrict.

In case your DUI is the reason for another person’s dying, you’ll mechanically be charged beneath Florida Statute 782.071 with both vehicular murder or manslaughter. In case your offense is taken into account a 2nd diploma felony, you’ll obtain 15 years in a Florida State Jail. Nevertheless, if it’s thought-about a 1st diploma felony, you possibly can obtain anyplace from thirty years to life in jail.

One of the simplest ways to get an concept of how a lot jail time you’ll be dealing with, it would be best to talk about the matter with a lawyer. As talked about, jail time completely will depend on the circumstances of your state of affairs. A lawyer will know these circumstances and have the power to provide the greatest estimate.

Courses and DUI Faculty

Inside the Sunshine State, there are two kinds of DUI courses [6]:

  • Degree I for first-time offenders with 12 hours of courses
  • Degree II for an individual with a number of offenses, a minimal 21 hours of courses

The aim of DUI faculty is to show you the risks of driving underneath the affect and the best way to follow protected driving methods. In Florida, nearly all of these courses won’t exceed 15 college students, making a extra private studying setting. For many who have a number of offenses, DUI faculty will concentrate on the place that offender constantly makes errors and try and resolve the difficulty.

The fee for DUI faculty varies from county to county. With a view to get an concept of how a lot you’ll should pay, you’ll have to name the DUI faculty of your county and ask. Yow will discover an inventory of DUI packages inside their respective counties right here.

To offer you a common sense, first-time offenders are more likely to pay round $275.00 for a DUI class whereas second-time offenders common round $420.00 for programs. [7] Should you’re required to have both an ignition interlock gadget or a DUI particular supervision service, your worth will certainly rise. Moreover, some DUI offenders should register with the Sufferer Consciousness Program which prices round $45.00.

Statute of Limitations

In Florida, for those who’re charged with a second diploma misdemeanor or much less, then the district lawyer has 1 yr to file costs. When you have a primary diploma misdemeanor, the district lawyer has 2 yearsto file fees. A second diploma felony provides the district lawyer three years whereas a first-degree felony permits for four years.

These limitations imply if the prosecutors don’t file felony fees inside the timeframe, you gained’t be prosecuted on your crime. The authorized purpose for a statute of limitations is to guard you from inaccurate prosecution. Eyewitness reminiscence weakens over time, as does proof.

These statute of limitations are primarily for first-time offenders. Although an individual who offends a number of occasions might run into the identical statute of limitations, there’s an opportunity his or her statute lasts for an extended interval.It also needs to be famous, the cost you obtain on your crime will stay in your report for 75 years.


DUI expenses and convictions stay in your public report for 75 years in the state of Florida. Contemplating that a DUI will keep in your report for virtually your entire life, many individuals search for expungement choices.

One choice is to seal your DUI data. Whenever you seal the report, you’ll forestall most personal employers from getting access to your data by means of employment background checks and maintain onto your rights to not disclose the knowledge. With a view to request expungement or to seal your data, you’ll want to rent a DUI lawyer.

DUI Lawyer Prices

Most DUI conditions that happen in the state of Florida will vary from 6 to 12 months [8]. Lawyer charges will common round $2,000 with different prices including an addition $four,000+. Although the worth you pay will rely in your state of affairs, the typical 6 month DUI case in Florida will value you round $6,500.

Moreover, the kind of lawyer you get will have an effect on value. Asmi-experience DUI lawyer can be cheaper than an skilled one. So, relying in your price range, you might need to contemplate your choices.

When contemplating these choices, it’s essential to keep in mind that there might be different funds needed whereas going by means of the DUI course of. These funds embrace, however aren’t restricted to:

  • Courts and fines which may add as much as round $2,000.
  • DUI Faculty which may value you anyplace from $275 to $1,000.
  • Your insurance coverage charges will go as much as a possible $2,500 per yr.
  • You may obtain an ignition interlock gadget which may value $500 or extra.

Is Rehab an Choice?

It’s in Florida’s greatest curiosity to supply individuals the assistance they want. DUI offender inside the Sunshine state have the potential to profit from drug courts. In these specialised courts, you’ll achieve entry to choices for remedy and rehabilitation relatively than conventional penalties.

The general function of a drug courtroom is to:

  1. Lower the probability of a felony re-offending and drug abuse amongst those that offend.
  2. Improve the probabilities of offenders efficiently attain sobriety via remedy.

It’s necessary to notice that drug courts aren’t open to everybody who receives a DUI. In case your DUI is assessed as a felony, you’ll almost certainly not be allowed entry to a drug courtroom. Nevertheless, should you’ve solely acquired a misdemeanor, it might be an choice for you.

So as to discover out, you’ll need to converse together with your lawyer for extra info.

Your Questions

Have any questions on DUI legal guidelines in Florida? Or do you’ve gotten any questions on the best way to get handled for alcohol habit? If sure, don’t hesitate to ask! We attempt to answer every remark in a immediate and private method.

Reference Sources:
[1] NHTSA: Drunk Driving
[2] On-line Sunshine: The 2018 Florida Statutes
[3] DMV Florida Visitors Laws: DUI
[4] Driving Laws: Florida Drunk Driving Fines & Penalties
[5] Florida Freeway Security and Motor Automobiles: DUI and IID
[6] Florida Freeway Security and Motor Automobiles: Licensed DUI Packages in Florida
[7] Florida Security Council – DUI Programs
[8] Laywers.com: Does a DUI Lawyer Give You a Higher Consequence? Is It Well worth the Value?