Penalties for DUI

Although the fatalities due to DUI continue to decrease, the numbers remain unacceptably high. Over 10,000 Americans die every year due to DUI accidents. Even with strict penalties and increased awareness of the dangers of DUI, the numbers remain high.

If you have been charged with DUI or want to sue the drunk driver for your suffering, a DUI lawyer can help your case. To learn more about penalties for DUI in Florida, please continue reading.

Accidents Caused by DUI and Their Penalties in Florida

  • Property Damage: If a person operated a vehicle while intoxicated and caused property damage or vehicle damage, the driver could be charged with a 1st-degree misdemeanor. In Florida, this could get the drunk driver a one-year jail sentence or a fine of up to $1,000 as a first offender. The driver’s history and blood alcohol level could result in more severe fines and penalties.
  • Severe Injuries: If a driver caused severe injuries to someone while driving under the influence, the driver could be charged with a 3rd-degree felony. This could lead to their driving license being suspended for at least three years. In addition, the fine for a 3rd-degree felony can be up to $5,000, and the driver could go to prison or get probation for five years.
  • Death: If the DUI caused the death of another person, it would be considered a 2nd-degree felony. This is also known as DUI manslaughter, which could have a penalty of 15 years in prison with the permanent revocation of the driver’s license. In addition, the driver could get a fine of up to $10,000.

Florida DUI Penalties by Number of Offenses

1st Offense

A 1st offense DUI can lead to the driver’s vehicle being impounded for ten days, one year of probation, and 50 hours of community service. If the offender does not want to perform community service, they can pay $10 per hour of service instead. The fine for 1st Offense DUI can be $500 to $1,000.

If it is an aggravated offense, for instance, the BAC was more than 0.15% or the DUI offender was driving with a minor passenger, the fine can be up to $2,000. In addition, the offender may serve 6-9 months in jail, and their license can be revoked for 180 days or a year, depending on the nature of the offense. 

2nd Offense

If the DUI is a 2nd offense, the offender might be sentenced to 9-12 months in jail and be required to pay a fine of $1,000-$2,000. If it is an aggravated offense, the penalty can be up to $4,000. The license revocation for 2nd Offense is 180 days to a year. 

3rd Offense (Misdemeanor)

A 3rd offense classified as a misdemeanor could result in 12 months of jail time, a $2,000-$5,000 fine, and a license revocation for 180 days or up to a year.

3rd Offense (Felony)

If the DUI accident results in serious bodily injury, it can be classified as a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony could result in a minimum of 30 days or a maximum of 5 years of jail time. In addition, the offender’s vehicle can get impounded for 90 days, and their license can be revoked for ten years.

The fine for a felony 3rd offense can range from $2,000 to $5,000. In addition, there could be the installation of an ignition interlock device or vehicle impoundment.

What Is the Probation Period for DUI In Florida?

In Florida, the courts can include an aerobic septic system for DUI offenders. If someone is convicted of their first DUI offense, the probation is typically less than one year. However, the court can require the DUI offender to enroll in educational courses related to DUI before their driver’s license can be reinstated.

The court may require the offender to report that they are fulfilling the terms of their probation to the assigned probation officer. Violating your probation could result in severe consequences, such as the court issuing a warrant for arrest or revoking your driver’s license.

What Happens If a Driver Refuses to Give a Breath or Blood Test?

It is prohibited by Florida law to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or more. If you get arrested for a DUI and refuse to give a blood, breath, or urine test to the authorities, your driver’s license could be revoked for a year under Florida’s implied consent law. If someone has been arrested for DUI for the second time and refuses to give a breath test, they could be required to pay a fine of $1,000 and serve a maximum of 1 year in prison.

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Atul Singla

Hi ! I 'm Atul. I am PMP certified Mechanical (Piping) Engineer with more than 17 Years of experience. Worked in the field of Plant design for various industries such as refinery, petrochemical & chemical, Fertilizer, gas Processing industries. Developed passion about Piping while working with national & international engineering consultants on diverse projects involving international clients. Developed courses on Piping Engineering to share the knowledge gained after working with many industry experts, through out these years.

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