Florida’s DUI Penalties and Consequences

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Florida’s DUI Penalties and Consequences

man drinking beer while driving

Navigating the legal landscape of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) penalties in Florida can be complex. This blog aims to provide clear and concise information about the consequences and penalties of a DUI offense in Florida.

The Legal Definition of DUI in Florida

In Florida, DUI is defined as operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This limit is lower for commercial drivers and individuals under 21.

Penalties for a First-Time DUI Offense

  • Fines: For a first-time DUI, fines can range from $500 to $1,000. If the BAC is above 0.15% or a minor is in the vehicle, fines may increase to $1,000-$2,000.
  • Jail Time: Up to 6 months of incarceration is possible. This can increase to 9 months if the BAC is above 0.15% or a minor is in the vehicle.
  • License Revocation: A minimum of 180 days to a maximum of one year.
  • Community Service: Mandatory 50 hours.
  • Vehicle Impoundment: Typically for 10 days, barring certain exceptions.
  • DUI School: Completion of a 12-hour DUI school course is required.

Penalties for Subsequent DUI Offenses

  • Second DUI: Fines increase to $1,000-$4,000, with potential jail time up to 9 months (12 months if BAC is above 0.15% or with a minor in the vehicle). License revocation ranges from 180 days to a maximum of one year for a second DUI within five years.
  • Third DUI: Classified as a felony if within 10 years of a prior conviction. Fines range from $2,000 to $5,000, and jail time can extend up to 12 months. License revocation can last up to 10 years.

Other Consequences

  • Probation: A DUI conviction often includes a probation period.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): Required for BAC above 0.15% or for repeat offenders.
  • Insurance Increases: A DUI conviction will likely result in increased car insurance premiums.
  • Criminal Record: A DUI conviction is part of your public criminal record, which can affect employment and housing opportunities.

Legal Defense and Rights

If charged with a DUI in Florida, it’s important to understand your legal rights and defense strategies. An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide guidance and potentially mitigate the severity of penalties.


DUI convictions carry significant penalties in Florida. Understanding these consequences is crucial for anyone facing DUI charges. Remember, the best defense against a DUI is to not drink and drive. However, if you find yourself facing such charges, seeking legal counsel is your next best step.

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