Florida DUI Penalties

Florida DUI laws and penalties

Each State within the United States is given authority to write their own laws on Driving Under the Influence, or better known as DUI. Within this article we will explore the different DUI laws witihin the State of Florida, and their penalties. To beigin with, there is what is known as a "Lookback Period" of five years for a second offense and ten years for a third offense. Meaning, that all prior DUI's become relevant to the sentencing you are now facing with your current DUI. This is also known as a "washout" period. 

What constitutes a high BAC for a DUI in Florida?

  • Under 21: .02%
  • 21 or Older: .08%
  • Commercial: .04%

There is never an acceptable time to drink and drive, as your vision, reasoning, along with your mental capacity to make quick and important decisions and judgments are severely hindered and are not capable of bouncing back to what you are able to perform without alcohol in your system. Each person is different, and their tolerance level for alcohol is severely unpredictable making it impossible to determine how many drinks are "normal" or not. This is what requires law enforcement to perform a chemical test on suspecting DUI offenders. If you are pulled over and are requested to take a chemical test to determine your BAC, or Blood Alcohol Content, Florida has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. For a refusal to take a chemical test, the penalties are as follows:

  • First Offense: 1 year license suspension
  • Second Offense: 18 month license suspension
  • Third Offense: 18 months

What are the penalties within the Florida DUI laws?

There are several penalties within the Florida DUI laws, and we will explore those here in this section. Should you be pulled over and found guilty of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol within the boarders of the State of Florida, the following are the consequences you will be facing:

Penalty of Jail: 

  • First Offense: 6 to 9 months
  • Second Offense: 9 months to 1 year
  • Third Offense: Up to 1 year

Penalty and Fines:

  • First Offense: $500 to $1,000
  • Second Offense: $1,000 to $4,000
  • Third Offense: $2,000 to $5,000

Penalty of License Suspension:

  • First Offense: 180 days to 1 year
  • Second Offense: 5 years (which can be reduced to 1)
  • Third Offense: 10 years (which can be reduced to 2)

Penalty of Interlock Ignition Device:

For each and every single offense an Interlock Ignition Device, or IID, is manditory and without exception applied to your vehicle at all times. 


It is important to note that laws change, as well as their interpretation and application of them. Due to the fact that there are multiple jurisdictions within a State, and each may choose to enforce the laws in different ways, it is important to prepare for the unexpected. For this reason, it would be in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced and professional lawyer who is well versed in Florida DUI law, and is capable of giving you the direction you need for your specific case, along with being fully aware of current laws pertaining to DUI.

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