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Florida DUI DWI Penalties

Each state establishes its own DUI laws. Florida is no different. A Florida DUI, also referred to as a DWI in other states, can cost you hundreds of dollars and your driver's license. In some circumstances, it can even result in jail time.

Florida DUI Fine Schedules

If you are arrested for a DWI in Florida, you may have to pay a fine. The amount of the fine will depend on whether this is a repeat offense, whether a minor was present in the vehicle at the time of arrest, and how high your blood-alcohol level was at the time of arrest. In Florida as in all other states, the legal blood-alcohol limit is .08 percent. This means that if your blood-alcohol level is at or above .08 percent, you may be charged with a Florida DUI.

The fines for a first offense in Florida can be anywhere between $500 and $1,000. However, if your blood-alcohol level is .15 or higher or if you had a minor in the car at the time of the offense, that range increases to anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000.

If this is your second conviction, you may be fined anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000. However, once again, if your blood-alcohol level is at or above .15 or if a minor was in the car, the fines go up to anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000.

If you get a third conviction, you could face a fine of anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000. If your blood-alcohol level is at .15 or higher or if a minor was present, your fine will be no less than $4,000.

Finally, if you have four or more convictions for a Florida DWI, your fine will be no less than $2,000 each time.

Mandatory Community Service

For your first conviction, you will have to serve 50 hours of community service. You may instead opt to pay $10 for each hour of community service required.

Imprisonment

For first-time DUI convictions in Florida, a person will be sent to jail for no more than six months. However, if blood-alcohol content is at or above .15 or a minor was present, that length of time increases to nine months.

For second-time offenders in Florida, the maximum jail time is nine months unless the blood-alcohol level is at or above .15 or a minor was present. Then the maximum jail sentence is a year. In addition, if this second conviction occurs within five years of the first, there is a mandatory incarceration period of at least 10 days.

For third-time offenders whose third offense is within 10 years of the second, there is a mandatory 30-day sentence.

For those convicted four or more times, the offender cannot be sentenced for more than five years.

In addition, a person convicted of DUI in Florida may not have to serve a full prison sentence. Specifically, at the court's discretion, a DUI offender may serve part of their time at an alcohol or drug treatment program.

Vehicular Homicide

Vehicular homicide is when you kill someone with your car. Under Florida DUI laws, if you accidentally kill someone while driving a car and you were under the influence of alcohol, you could face at most a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

However, if you leave the scene of the crime after hitting someone, which is considered a first-degree felony in Florida, you could face as much as 30 years in prison.

Other Florida DUI Penalties

If you are convicted of drinking and driving, you will have your driver's license suspended. Even for a first-time offender, your license will be suspended for a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of one year.

If you would like more information about Florida DUI penalties, contact the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

If you have been arrested for a Florida DUI, you will want to contact a Florida DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and establish a customized defense for your case.

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