The state of Florida takes driving under the influence very seriously, and they have numerous DUI laws in place to ensure citizens know how serious they are. Because the specific situation involving driving under the influence can vary greatly depending on whether it’s a first offense, if anyone was hurt in the accident, and how drunk the driver was, the penalties vary as well.
Even the most experienced DUI attorney in Tampa, Miami, or Orlando may have to do ample research each time a client gets charged with a DUI offense because the laws and penalties are defined in great detail. As a driver on the road, it’s important to be aware of the potential consequences, so that you think twice before getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
A first conviction DUI offense in Florida has fines ranging from $500 to $2,000. Fines increase from $1,000 to $4,000 for second offenses. Third-time offenses carry fines of $2,000 to over $5,000 and fourth-time offenders will have to pay no less than $2,000 but could pay more than $6,000 in fines for their actions.
A first conviction DUI offense has a maximum jail time of nine months. A second offense will involve a maximum jail sentence of one year. As more offenses add on, jail time will increase depending on the circumstance and how high the driver’s blood alcohol content level was.
Probation and Community Service
First-time DUI offenders will be required to perform fifty hours of community service. Offenders can opt out of community service by paying $10 for every hour they owe. One year of probation may also be required for first-time offenders.
Driver’s License Suspension
Every DUI conviction comes with a driver’s license revocation period. First convictions come with a minimum of a 180-day suspension, second convictions come with a five-year suspension, third convictions come with ten-year suspensions, and fourth convictions result in permanent loss of driving privileges.
Impoundment of Vehicle
In the state of Florida, the vehicle that was driven while driving under the influence is required to be impounded after the incident. For first-time offenders, the vehicle will be impounded for ten days. For second-time offenders, the vehicle will be impounded for thirty days. For third-time offenders, the vehicle will be impounded for ninety-days.
DUI offenders may be charged with a criminal offense if they injured someone else in a wreck or caused property damage. If it’s a first-time offense, a First-Degree Misdemeanor may be charged, and if it’s a consecutive offense, a Third-Degree Felony can be charged. These charges can result in more significant penalties.
Knowing how a DUI conviction can affect your life should make you think twice before getting being the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated. The law takes DUI seriously and hopefully, you do too.