DUI Laws in Florida

Florida DUI laws and penalties.

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In Florida, you can get a DUI (driving under the influence) if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether you were "driving drunk" or your driving ability was actually impaired. And the law in Florida says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Florida and other details about Florida DUI law.

In Florida, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DUI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in Florida, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

1 year license suspension

18 month license suspension

18 month license suspension

In Florida, when do police have to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

In Florida, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for DUI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in Florida?

In Florida, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .05%. Additional penalties include possible revocation of license until driver is 18 years old (first offense) and possible revocation until driver is 21 (second offense).

What are the minimum jail times for a DUI in Florida?

Here are the minimum jail times for a DUI in Florida, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

No minimum jail term

10 days jail

30 days jail

How long will prior DUI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in Florida?

In Florida, prior DUI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for 5 years for a second offense, 10 years for a third offense.

Can a DUI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in Florida?

In some circumstances, a plea bargain of "wet reckless" might be accepted by the prosecution in Florida. A "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, is usually made as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. A plea bargain of wet reckless might occur when the amount of alcohol is borderline illegal, there was no accident, and the defendant has no prior record. But if there is a subsequent drunk driving conviction, the "wet reckless" is usually considered a prior drunk driving conviction; the resulting sentence can be what's required for a second DUI/DWI conviction. If you are interested in trying to make a plea for a wet reckless, you'll need the help of a lawyer.

If you are interested in contacting a lawyer to help you with a plea bargain, you can find a Florida DUI lawyer in your area in Nolo's Lawyer Directory.

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted DUI offenders in Florida?

Yes, but only if you get for a second DUI conviction within 5 years, or a third DUI conviction within 10 years.

Where can I get more information about DUI laws in Florida?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a DUI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of Florida DUI attorneys in your area.

Last updated on 09/01/2010.

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