What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Florida?

Under Sec. 316.193 of the Florida Statutes, it’s unlawful to drive under the influence of alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances to the point where one’s normal faculties are impaired. The penalties for DUI are the same, regardless if the offense involved alcohol, drugs, or another chemical substance.

Florida is notorious for being harsh when it comes to sentencing, fines and other penalties for criminal offenses, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is no exception. In Florida, a first-time conviction for DUI with a blood alcohol of 0.14% or less are as follows:

First DUI Offense

  • Up to $1,000 in fines.
  • Must complete DUI school.
  • Up to one year of probation.
  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • Up to one year license revocation.
  • Possible impoundment of vehicle (up to 10 days).
  • 50 hours of mandatory community service, or fine of $10 for each hour of community service required of the defendant.

Aggravating Factors that Increase DUI Penalties

The above penalties are for a simple, first-time DUI offense. In the presence of “aggravating factors,” the penalties will generally be worse, and this can also apply to a first-time DUI.

Aggravating factors, include:

  • Having a high BAC of 0.15% or higher
  • Having a minor in the vehicle
  • Accidents involving property damage
  • Accidents involving bodily injuries
  • Repeat offenders
  • Accidents involving serious bodily injuries
  • DUI/Manslaughter (second degree felony)

Florida judges are not allowed to deviate from the administrative/revocation periods that are imposed by the state. Additionally, the courts are prohibited from reducing a DUI charge in cases where the defendant’s BAC was 0.15% or greater.

If a driver has been arrested for their second or subsequent DUI, or for refusing to submit to a chemical test, under Sec. 316.193 of the Florida Statutes, the law prohibits any type of a hardship reinstatement.

Contact a Tampa DUI Defense Attorney

In the face of DUI charges, the best thing you can do for yourself is hire a hard-hitting Tampa DUI defense lawyer.

At Thomas & Paulk, P.A., we are former prosecutors with thousands of cases under our belts. We have successfully handled over 400 non-jury trials, and more than 70 jury trials, thus, you can be rest assured that you will be working with some of the most qualified defense attorneys in the Tampa area.

To learn more about our criminal defense services and how we can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation!