DUI in Florida – How the Laws Change from Your First to Third Conviction

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Driving under the influence of alcohol can get you in big trouble with the law. If you’re found driving with a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or above, you could have your car impounded, your license revoked, pay a fine, and go to jail. In Florida, the laws get progressively stricter from your first to third convictions and beyond. If you do find yourself with a DUI in Florida, here are the possible consequences for the first to third offenses:

A First DUI in Florida

If you are convicted of a DUI in Florida, you will have to pay not less than $500 or more than $1000 for your first offense.  You could be imprisoned for up to six months.  Your car could be impounded for 10 days.  The State of Florida will revoke your license for a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of one year.

Some circumstances make the punishment harsher.  If your blood or breath alcohol level (BAL) was .15 or higher or you were driving with a minor in the vehicle, then the fine reaches not less than $1000 or more than $2000.  You could go to jail for up to nine months.  If your first offense results in bodily injury, your license will be revoked for a minimum of three years.

Getting Your License Reinstated After the First DUI

To get your license reinstated after your first DUI in Florida, you must pay the required fees and complete a DUI school.  In some circumstances, you might be able to get your license back earlier by completing DUI school and applying to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for a hardship reinstatement.  If you had a BAL over .15, your car will be fitted with an ignition interlock device for up to six months.

A Second DUI in Florida

A second DUI within five years will cost you not less than $1,000 and not more than $2000.  You could be jailed for up to nine months, and your car could be impounded for 30 days.  You will lose your license for five years and a minimum of a year even with a hardship reinstatement.  If your BAL was over .15 or there was a minor in the car, the fine goes up to not less than $2,000 or more than $4,000, and jail time goes up to not more than a year.

A Third DUI Conviction

You’ll spend a mandatory 30 days in jail if your third DUI occurs within 10 years of your second.  Your car will be impounded for 90 days.  You will lose your license for 10 years and a minimum of two years with a hardship reinstatement.  Your fine will be at least $4,000 if there was a minor in the vehicle or your BAL was over .15.

Don’t Drink and Drive

The easiest way to avoid these consequences is to never drink and drive.  If you do find yourself with a DUI in Florida, follow the laws and procedures above and take care not to do it again.  Plan your nights out with a ride home.

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