Penalties for a DUI in Florida

When someone is facing a DUI charge, the penalties can be significant, even for a first time offense. Because of this, those facing charges for drunk driving in South Florida may benefit from seeking legal counsel. It could be possible to have the charges reduced or even dismissed in some cases.

Penalties Following a DUI Arrest

A first time DUI offense can result in jail time. The length of time depends on the blood alcohol content (BAC) level and if a minor is in the vehicle. If it’s less than .15, a maximum sentence of six months could be given. For anything above that or with a minor inside the vehicle, it could be as much as nine months.

The amount of a fine is also dependent on the BAC level. Less than .15 could result in a fine ranging from $250 to $500. Higher levels could bump the fine up to as much as $2,000.

The driver’s license could be suspended anywhere from 180 days to one year but there could be other penalties enforced such as: 

  • vehicle impoundment;
  • installation of an ignition interlock device;
  • community service; and
  • attending a DUI school.

While the legal BAC limit is .08 for individuals 21 and older, underage individuals may be arrested for DUI if BAC is .02 or higher. Driver’s license may be suspended six months for first offense, and up to a year for subsequent offenses. Those under 21 but 18 or older may face misdemeanor or felony charges, while minors may face driver’s license suspension as well as additional penalties.

Florida DUI arrest statistics can help demonstrate the problem of DUI in the state, but a defense attorney doesn’t see an individual who is arrested as just a number. It may be possible to fight the charges or at the very least, make sure rights are kept protected by securing legal representation.