DUI Penalties

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Penalties You Face if CONVICTED of DUI!

UNDERSTANDING DUI LAW

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In the state of Florida, driving under the influence penalties are becoming increasingly severe! But, even the penalties the Court imposes on persons convicted for just the first time does not compare to the impact of a DUI Conviction on most person's lives for years and years after the court case is over! Insurance rates, employment, criminal record, education, licensing, and more. DUI is the only alcohol or drug related crime whereby the Court must adjudicate you GUILTY if you plea to it or are found guilty by a jury. Under Florida Law, not even the sale of crack cocaine requires an adjudication of Guilt by the Court!

DUI's are typically charged as a misdemeanor. But, under certain circumstances, a DUI is a felony and can be punished by a year or more in prison. Injury accidents and/or a prior record may lead to a felony DUI charge. the following DUI offenses are considered felonies under Florida Statutes:

  • Third DUI conviction with the last one within a ten-year period
  • Any fourth DUI conviction
  • DUI resulting in an accident with serious bodily injury
  • DUI manslaughter where an accident proves fatal

Below is a list of the various Court imposed penalties you face if convicted of DUI


DUI (Driving Under the Influence of Alcoholic Beverages, Chemical Substances or Controlled Substances). s. 316.193, F.S.

Under Florida law, DUI is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. the penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of the manner in which the offense is proven.

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Florida DUI Penalties

(click here to view the DUI penalties chart)
penaltychart

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Fine Schedule s. 316.193(2)(a)-(b), F.S.

  • First Conviction: Not less than $250, or more than $500. With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of .20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $500, or more than $1,000.
  • Second Conviction: Not less than $500, or more than $1,000. With BAL of .20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000.

    Third Conviction More than 10 years: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,500. With BAL of .20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $2,000.
  • Third Conviction Within 10 years: Not more than $5,000. With BAL of .20 or higher or minor in the vehicle. Not less than $2,000.
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Not less than $1,000. With BAL of .20 or higher or minor in the vehicle. Not less than $2,000.

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Community Service - s. 316.193 (6)(a), F.S.

First Conviction: Mandatory 50 hours of community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required.

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Probation - s. 316.193 (5)(6), F.S.

First conviction, total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year.

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Imprisonment- s. 316.193 (2)(a) 2, 4(b), (6)(j), F.S.

At court's discretion, sentencing terms may be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, credited toward term of imprisonment.

  • First Conviction: Not more than 6 months. With BAL of .20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 9 months.
  • Second Conviction: Not more than 9 months. With BAL of .20 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not more than 12 months. If second conviction within 5 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 10 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.
  • Third Conviction: If third conviction within 10 years, mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days. At least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive. If third conviction more than 10 years, imprisonment for not more than 12 months.
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Not more than 5 years or as provided in s.775.084, Florida Statues, as habitual/violent offender.

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Impoundment of Immobilization of Vehicle - s. 316.193 (6), F.S.

Unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation: First conviction = 10 days; second conviction within 5 years = 30 days; third conviction within 10 years = 90 days. Impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with incarceration. the court may dismiss the order of impoundment of any vehicles that are owned by the defendant if they are operated solely by the employees of the defendant or any business owned by the defendant.

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Conditions for Release of Persons Arrested for DUI-s. 316.193 (9), F.S.

  • the person is no longer under the influence and;
  • the person's normal faculties are no longer impaired
  • the person's blood/breath alcohol level is lower than 0.05; or
  • Eight hours have elapsed from the time the person was arrested.

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DUI Misdemeanor Conviction: (Accident Involving Property Damage or Personal Injury)-s. 316.193 (3), F.S.

Any person who causes property damage or personal injury to another while driving under the influence is guilty of a First Degree Misdemeanor (not more than $1,000 fine or 1-year imprisonment).

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DUI Felony Conviction: (Repeat Offenders or Accidents Involving Serious Bodily Injury)-s. 316.193 (2),(3) F.S.

  • Any person convicted of a third DUI within 10 years or a fourth or subsequent DUI commits a Third Degree Felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment).
  • Any person who causes serious bodily injury while driving under the influence is guilty of a Third Degree Felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment) or if habitual/violent felony offender as provided in s. 775.084, F.S.

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Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide-s. 316.193 (3), F.S.

  • DUI/Manslaughter: Second Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).
  • DUI Manslaughter/Leaving the Scene: A driver convicted of DUI Manslaughter who knew/should have known accident occurred; and failed to give information or render aid is guilty of a First Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).
  • Vehicular Homicide: Second Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).
  • Vehicular Homicide/Leaving the Scene: A driver convicted of vehicular homicide who left the scene of an accident is guilty of a First Degree Felony (nor more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).

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Driver License Revocation Periods for DUI-s. 322.271, F.S. and s. 322.28,F.S.

A. First Conviction: Minimum 180 days revocation, maximum 1 year.

B. Second Conviction Within 5 Years: Minimum 5 years revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 1 year. Other 2nd offenders same as "A" above.

C. Third Conviction Within 10 Years: Minimum 10 years revocation. May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 2 years. Other 3rd offenders same as "A" above; one conviction more than 10 years prior and one within 5 years, same as "B" above.

D. Fourth Conviction, Regardless of When Prior Convictions Occurred) and Murder with Motor Vehicle: Mandatory permanent revocation. No hardship reinstatement.

E. DUI Manslaughter: Mandatory permanent revocation. If no prior DUI related convictions, may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 5 years.

F. Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide Convictions: Minimum 3-year revocation. DUI Serious Bodily Injury having prior DUI conviction is same as "B-D" above.

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Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) - Alcohol-Related Convictions/Disqualifications-s. 322.61, F.S.

  • Persons convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .04 or above or refusing to submit to a test to determine the alcohol concentration while driving a commercial motor vehicle, driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, or driving a commercial motor vehicle while in possession of a controlled substance shall be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 1 year. This is in addition to any provisions of s. 316.193 for DUI convictions.
  • Second or subsequent conviction of any of the above offenses arising out of separate incidents will result in a permanent disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
  • there are no provisions for persons disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle to obtain a hardship (business or employment) license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

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Business Purposes Only/Employment Purposes Only Reinstatements-s. 322.271, F.S. and s. 322.28, F.S.

  • First Conviction: Must complete DUI school, apply to department for hearing for possible hardship reinstatement. Mandatory ignition interlock device for up to six months for BAL of .20 or higher, or for two years if BAL is greater than .20.
  • Second Convictions (or more): No hardship license except as provided below. Mandatory ignition interlock device for one year, effective 07/03.
  • Second Conviction Within 5 Years: (5-Year Revocation) May apply for hardship reinstatement hearing after one year. Must complete DUI school and remain in the DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period (failure to report for counseling or treatment shall result in cancellation of the hardship license). Applicant may not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement. Mandatory ignition interlock device for one year or for two years if BAL is greater than .20.
  • Third Conviction Within 10 Years: (10-Year Revocation) May apply for hardship reinstatement hearing after two years. Must complete DUI school and remain in the DUI supervision program for the remainder of the revocation period (failure to report for counseling or treatment shall result in the cancellation of the hardship license). Applicant may not have consumed any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months prior to reinstatement. Mandatory ignition interlock device for two years.
  • DUI Manslaughter With No Prior DUI Related Conviction: (Permanent Revocation): May be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 5 years have expired from date of revocation or expired from date of term of incarceration provided the following requirements have been met:

1. Has not been arrested for a drug-related offense for at least 5 years prior to the hearing;

2. Has not driven a motor vehicle without a license for at least 5 years prior to the hearing;

3. Has been alcohol and drug-free for at least 5 years prior to the hearing; and


4. Must complete a DUI school and must be supervised under the DUI program for the remainder of the revocation period (failure to report for counseling or treatment shall result in cancellation of the hardship license).

5. Ignition interlock device required for two years.

  • Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide Convictions: (3 Year Revocation): May immediately apply for hardship reinstatement hearing. Must complete DUI school or advanced driver improvement course.

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DUI School Requirements - s. 316.193 F.S., s. 322.271, F.S., s. 322.291, F.S.

  • First Conviction: Must complete DUI school before hardship reinstatement. Customers who wait out revocation period before reinstatement need only show proof of enrollment or completion to become re-licensed. If customer enrolls and is reinstated after revocation period expires, failure to complete the DUI school within 90 days after reinstatement will result in license cancellation; the driver cannot then be re-licensed until DUI school is completed.
  • Second Conviction in 5 Years (5-Year Revocation) or Third Conviction in 10 Years (10-Year Revocation): Customer must complete DUI school following conviction. See requirements in 13C and 13D respectively.
  • DUI Manslaughter With No Prior DUI Related Conviction: (Permanent Revocation): Must complete DUI school before hardship reinstatement.
  • Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, or Vehicular Homicide: (Minimum 3 year Revocation): See 13F
  • Customers Who Wait Until Revocation Period Expires: Must enroll in DUI school and pass the driver license examinations to be re-licensed. Failure to complete the school within 90 days after such reinstatement will result in cancellation of the license until the school is completed.
  • Reckless Driving: If the court has reasonable cause to believe that the use of alcohol, chemical or controlled substances contributed to a violation of reckless driving, the person convicted of reckless driving must complete DUI school if ordered by the court.
  • Treatment: Treatment resulting from a psychosocial evaluation may not be waived without a supporting psychosocial evaluation by a court appointed agency with access to the original evaluation.

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Chemical or Physical Test Provisions (Implied Consent Law)-s. 316.1932, F.S., s. 316.1933, F.S., s. 316.1934, F.S, s. 316.1939, F.S

  • Refusal: Refusal to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test is admissible as evidence in DUI criminal proceedings. Second or subsequent refusal is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
  • Driver License Suspension Periods: First refusal, suspended for 1 year. Second or subsequent refusals, suspended for 18 months.
  • Commercial Driver License Disqualification Periods: First refusal in a commercial motor vehicle, disqualified for 1 year. Second or subsequent refusals in a commercial motor vehicle, disqualified permanently. No hardship reinstatement permitted.
  • Forceful Withdrawal of Blood: If necessary, blood may be withdrawn in DUI cases involving serious bodily injury or death by authorized medical personnel with the use of reasonable force by the arresting officer, even if the driver refuses.
  • Unconscious: Any person who is incapable of refusal by reason of unconsciousness or other mental or physical condition shall be deemed not to have withdrawn his consent to such test. A blood test may be administered whether or not such person is told that his failure to submit to such a blood test will result in the suspension of his privilege to operate a motor vehicle.
  • Portable Alcohol Breath Testing Devices: Authorized by s.322.2616, F.S., for persons under the age of 21. Reading is admissible as evidence in any administrative hearing conducted under s. 322.2616, F.S.

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Adjudication and Sentencing - s. 316.656, F.S., s. 322.2615 F.S.

Penalty to be Imposed by Court: Judges are prohibited from deviating from the administrative suspension/revocation periods mandated by statute. the courts are prohibited from withholding adjudication in DUI cases; or from reducing a DUI charge if the defendant's blood alcohol was .20 or greater.

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Driving While License Suspended or Revoked- s. 322.34, F.S.

Any person whose driver license/privilege is suspended for Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Level, or revoked for DUI, DUI Manslaughter or Vehicular Homicide, or for any other offense ordered by the court and who causes death or serious bodily injury to another person by operating a motor vehicle in a careless or negligent manner is guilty of a 3rd degree felony, punishable by both imprisonment of not more than 5 years, a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both.

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