Florida DUI Penalties

Information on Drunk Driving Penalties From a Bradenton and Sarasota Lawyer

Florida drunk driving (DUI) penalties are both complex and harsh. They have changed frequently over the years, which is why we offer the information below. At the law offices of MSPerryLaw., our attorneys defend clients against all types of DUI charges. We know the law thoroughly and work hard to help clients achieve the most favorable outcome possible after a Florida DUI.

First-Time DUI Penalties

The first time a person is found guilty of DUI, or driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, he or she could receive the following penalties:

  • Administrative license suspension for at least six months
  • Mandatory alcohol education ("DUI School") and assessment or treatment
  • Fines between $500 and $1,000
  • Jail time of up to six months
  • Community service of at least 50 hours
  • Probation of up to one year
  • Vehicle impoundment of 10 days

If your BAC was .15 or higher, or a minor was riding in the vehicle, you can be subject to an enhanced penalty of fines up to $2,000 and jail time of up to nine months. If an accident was involved, you may be charged with a felony if there was serious injury.

Second-Time DUI Penalties

  • Administrative license suspension for up to one year. If your second conviction was within five years of the first conviction, your license could be suspended for up to five years.
  • Mandatory alcohol education ("DUI School") and assessment or treatment
  • Fines between $1,000 and $2,000. If your BAC is .15 or higher, the fine increases from $2,000 to $4,000.
  • Jail time of up to nine months. If BAC is .15 or higher or a minor is in the vehicle, the sentence increases to a maximum of 12 months. If this is your second conviction in five years, the penalty is a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail.
  • Vehicle impoundment of up to 30 days if this is your second conviction in five years
  • Interlock device if your BAC was more than .15

Penalties Increase With Additional Convictions or Special Circumstances

Additional DUI convictions carry enhanced penalties, including more mandatory time in jail and higher fines. If there was property damage or injury, you can receive a fine of up to $1,000 or a year in jail. If someone died, you could receive a felony conviction, a substantial fine and up to 30 years imprisonment. Penalties also increase when the driver has a commercial driver's license (CDL); multiple convictions can result in a permanent disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle.

Contact attorney Michael Perry online or call 941-365-4000 to schedule your free initial consultation with a Sarasota and Bradenton lawyer to learn about Florida DUI penalties.