Florida Drunk Driving Laws

Alcohol Drinks on a Table with Keys & HandcuffsDid you know that Florida DUI laws (driving under the influence laws) are among the stiffest in the country? While all 50 states consider driving with .08% blood alcohol level (BAL) a crime, each state has different sentencing guidelines for DUI convictions.

If you’ve been a victim in a Florida drunk driving accident, you can be assured the offender will be subject to harsh disciplinary actions as mandated under the state of Florida DUI laws.

Florida DUI Laws: Penalties for First and Second Time Offenders

First Time Offenders of Florida DUI Laws

  • No less than a $500 fine, no more than $1000, unless BAL exceeds .15% or there is a minor in the car. In these situations, the fine will be $1000 or more, not to exceed $2000.
  • Mandatory 50 hours of community service, or an additional $10 fine for each hour of community service required.
  • Total period of probation may not exceed 1 year.
  • Total period of incarceration may not exceed 6 months, unless BAL is .15% or higher, or there is a minor in the vehicle. In these situations, incarceration may be no longer than 9 months.
  • License revocation for at least 180 days, not to exceed 1 year.
  • Car may be impounded for at least 10 days.
  • An interlock ignition device will be installed on offenders whose BAL exceeds .15.
  • Must attend a DUI school, Level I, for first time offenders.

Second Time Offenders of Florida DUI Laws

  • No less than $1000 fine, no more than $2000, unless BAL exceeds .15 or there is a minor in the car. In these situations the fine will be $2000 or more, not to exceed $4000.
  • Mandatory 50 hours of community service, or an additional $10 for each hour of community service required.
  • License revocation for at least 180 days, not to exceed 1 year.
  • Total period of probation may not exceed 1 year
  • No more than 9 months imprisonment, unless BAL is .15% or higher, or there is a minor in the vehicle. In these situations, incarceration may be no longer than 12 months. If second offense occurs within 5 years of first conviction, mandatory incarceration of at least 10 days.
  • Cars will be impounded.
  • An interlock ignition device will be installed on the offender’s car, to remain for at least 1 year.
  • Must attend DUI School, Level II.

If a driver is stopped for a third or subsequent DUI offense, Florida DUI laws mandate escalating penalties, which may include incarceration for up to 5 years, completion of inpatient substance abuse programs, and permanent loss of driving privileges. Additional sentencing considerations as the result of a Florida drunk driving conviction include damages to property and individuals, and can result in felony charges.

Civil Court Proceedings

The penalties listed above derive from criminal proceedings under Florida DUI laws. In other words, action has been taken by the state of Florida to prosecute the offender for driving under the influence of alcohol or other illegal substances.

As a victim in a Florida drunk driving accident you should not rely on the criminal justice system for compensation. If you’ve been the victim in a Florida drunk driving accident you will need to file a separate lawsuit to receive compensation as a result of your losses or injuries.

This type of proceeding is called a civil case. A civil case is a private lawsuit in which two or more parties are involved. In a civil suit involving a Florida drunk driving accident, one of the parties is suing the other(s) for compensation due to losses and damages suffered as a result of negligence. A car accident attorney can help you file a claim for compensated against the drunk driver that caused your accident and injuries.

If you are not ready to speak to a lawyer but would like more information on what to expect moving forward as a victim of a DUI accident, we encourage you to get attorney Jim Dodson's free legal guide, Forida DUI Crash Victim Guide. This valuable resource serves as a starting point to give families access to straightforward information about the steps to take while answering common questions.

Jim Dodson
A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.