Florida DUI Penalties

florida dui penalty chart

Florida takes DUI offenses seriously. 

DUI charges in Florida carry serious consequences. Florida DUI laws are complicated, and the charges and penalties depend on several factors.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand how the law applies to your case. 

What Counts as a DUI in Florida?

Under Florida law, a driver is considered under the influence if the person is operating or in control of the vehicle and:

  • The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, or
  • The person has a .08% Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) or more.

If your BAC registers at .08% or higher, you are automatically considered impaired, even if you can pass a roadside sobriety test.

What Are the Penalties for DUI in Florida?

Florida DUI penalties depend on several factors, including:

  • Number of prior offenses and when they occurred,
  • The driver's BAC level,
  • Whether the driver had a child passenger at the time of arrest,
  • The age of the driver, and
  • Whether any passengers or other drivers suffered injuries.

Florida law also includes aggravated DUI charges. Aggravated charges carry heavier penalties, including larger fines and possible mandatory jail time if the driver has prior offenses.

Aggravated charges apply when:

  • A child was in a passenger in the vehicle or
  • The driver had a BAC of .15% or higher.

The chart below describes the different types of penalties for DUI charges in Florida.

Florida DUI Penalty Chart


First OffenseSecond OffenseThird Offense
Jail Time Zero to six months (up to nine months if aggravated)Zero to nine months (up to 12 months if aggravated)Zero to 12 months 
FinesMinimum $500 up to $1,000 ($1,000 to $2,000 if aggravated) Minimum $1,000 up to $2,000 ($2,000 to $4,000 if aggravated)Minimum $2,000 up to $5,000 ($4,000 to $5,000 if aggravated)
License SuspensionMinimum six monthsMinimum six months up to five years Minimum six months up to 10 years 
Ignition InterlockOptional if not aggravated (minimum six months if aggravated)Minimum 1 year (minimum 2 years if aggravated) Minimum 2 years 

Mandatory Minimum Requirements in Florida

Florida law has certain statutory mandatory minimum requirements. 

Depending on the type of DUI conviction, courts must impose certain minimum punishments. Courts may include harsher punishments than the mandatory minimum, up to the statutory maximum punishment for the type of offense charged.

These mandatory minimum punishments range from required ignition interlock devices to large fines and jail time for third and fourth offenses. Florida DUI penalties can affect you for years and cause significant hardship. A qualified criminal defense attorney can help you fight your charges and work toward the best available outcome. 

First Offense

If a driver convicted of DUI has no prior DUI offenses, Florida DUI law requires the following mandatory minimum penalties:

  • A $500 fine, up to $1,000;
  • One year probation;
  • 50 hours of community service;
  • Vehicle impoundment for at least ten days; and
  • A six-month license revocation.

If the driver had a BAC of .15% or higher or had a child passenger, courts must impose a minimum $1,000 fine. Additionally, if the driver caused bodily injury to a passenger or another driver, the courts will revoke their driver license for a minimum of three years.

Second Offense

Florida DUI law imposes harsher penalties for multiple offenses, particularly if those offenses occur within a certain time period.

For second offenses that occur more than five years after the first offense, Florida DUI mandatory minimum penalties include:

  • A minimum $1,000 fine, up to $2,000;
  • An ignition interlock device for at least one year;
  • A six-month license revocation;
  • Vehicle impoundment for at least ten days; and
  • License revocation for at least six months.

For second offenses that occur within five years of the previous DUI, the following mandatory minimum charges apply:

  • A minimum $1,000 fine, up to $2,000;
  • An ignition interlock device for at least one year;
  • A mandatory minimum ten-day jail sentence;
  • Vehicle impoundment for at least 30 days; and
  • License revocation for at least five years.

For aggravated charges, a driver must pay at least a $2,000 fine for a second offense.

Third Offense

Third offenses carry serious penalties, especially if the offense occurs within ten years of a prior DUI offense.

For DUI offenses that occur more than ten years after a previous offense, the following mandatory minimum penalties apply:

  • A minimum $2,000 fine, up to $5,000;
  • An ignition interlock for at least two years;
  • Vehicle impoundment for ten days; and
  • License revocation for at least six months.

If the third DUI offense occurs within ten years of a prior offense, the driver will face felony charges, and the following mandatory minimum penalties apply:

  • A minimum $2,000 fine;
  • Ignition interlock for at least two years;
  • A mandatory jail sentence of at least 30 days;
  • Vehicle impoundment for at least 90 days; and
  • A minimum 10-year license revocation.

If the driver's BAC was  .15% or higher, or if the driver had a child passenger, the court will impose a minimum $4,000 fine. 

Underage DUI

Drivers under the age of 21 face serious penalties for DUI charges in Florida.

Consuming alcohol under age 21 is against the law. Florida imposes stricter BAC requirements on young drivers. Drivers under age 21 may not have a BAC higher than .02% while operating a vehicle. 

Young drivers whose BAC is above .02% will not face criminal charges. However, the young driver will lose their license for at least six months or one year if they have a prior offense. If the BAC level is at .05% or more, the young driver must also complete a DUI education program. 

Implied Consent Laws

Under Florida law, any person who drives a vehicle in the state automatically gives his or her consent to submit to a blood, urine, or breath test.

If a driver refuses to take a test, the driver will automatically lose their license for one year. A second or subsequent refusal will lead to license revocation for 18 months. In cases where serious bodily injury or death occurs, an arresting officer may forcefully draw blood to test for drugs and alcohol, even if the driver refuses. 

Defenses to Florida DUI Charges

Defenses to DUI charges depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.

A skilled criminal defense attorney understands what evidence is necessary to prove the prosecution's case. Your attorney may attempt to challenge the evidence, how the arresting officer took the BAC test, or other aspects of the prosecution's case.

For first offenses, your attorney can also negotiate with the prosecution so that you can plead to a lesser offense. Non-DUI charges, such as reckless driving, do not carry mandatory minimum sentences.

However, pleas to lesser offenses are not available if:

  • The driver has a prior DUI conviction,
  • The driver had a BAC of .15% or higher, or
  • The DUI charge involved manslaughter.

Florida DUI charges are serious, and you should not have to face them on your own. An experienced Florida criminal defense attorney understands Florida DUI laws and can help you craft a strong legal defense. 

Contact a Qualified Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The attorneys at Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., have more than 25 years of experience handling cases for our Florida clients. We understand how stressful and scary a DUI charge can be, and we are here to help. We provide our clients with hands-on, personalized legal services.

We will answer your questions, thoroughly investigate your case, and provide you support and guidance throughout the process. We fight aggressively for our clients' interests in and out of the courtroom. We will use our experience and resources to defend your rights. For a free consultation, call our offices at 407-598-8481 or fill out an online form today. 

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