It is easiest for a DUI Attorney to break down Florida’s drunken driving penalties into administrative penalties and statutory criminal penalties.
Florida’s administrative drunk driving penalties are handed down by the DMV, or the Department of Highway Motor Vehicles. Not every DUI arrest will result in administrative DUI consequences. You will be penalized in two situations: If you refuse to take a lawful breath, blood or urine test, or if you take the test and your result is over a .08 BAC, or “Blood Alcohol Content”.
If you refuse to take the test, commonly called a Refusal, then your license will be suspended by the DMV for 6 months for a first refusal, and 18 months for a second or subsequent refusal. This license suspension will take place ten days after your DUI arrest, if your Tampa DUI Lawyer does not contest the suspension by requesting a formal review hearing. Therefore, it is imperative that you have your Tampa DUI lawyer act within ten days of your arrest to keep you driving.
For a first time refusal, you are eligible for a hardship license, or business purposes permit, after serving 90 days of your license suspension. For a second or subsequent refusal, however, DMV will not give you any license at all until the full 18 months has been served.
If your breathalyzer result is over a .08, then DMV will suspend your license for 6 months. However, you are eligible for a hardship license after 30 days of your license suspension.
The only way around these administrative suspensions, if applicable, is for your Tampa, Clearwater, or New Port Richey Drunk Driving lawyer to win the formal review hearing. The DUI attorneys at Denmon & Denmon know how to present your case to the administrative review hearing officer to potentially win your DMV and invalidate your DMV suspension.
The administrative penalties above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to drunken driving consequences and penalties. However, please note that the penalties listed below only apply to a conviction for drunk driving. If your criminal defense lawyer can get your charge dropped or reduced to a reckless driving, then the drunk driving penalties listed below may not apply. In the same regard, winning your Drunk Driving case at trial will result in no additional penalties like the following Drunk Driving criminal penalties.
Statutory Criminal Penalties
A regular first time DUI conviction carries a maximum of six months in the county jail. At the minimum, a conviction results in fines and court costs that approach $1000.00, probation of up to one year. Your DUI license will be suspended for at least six months, and up to one year. Your car will be impounded for ten days. And as a condition of your probation, you will be required to complete costly DUI School, Alcohol Evaluation and treatment if necessary, no alcohol bars or clubs while on probation, and 50 community service hours. Including the cost to your car insurance premiums, the cost of a first time DUI conviction can quickly approach $5000.00.
A first time DUI with a breathalyzer, urine or blood BAC of .15 or higher has enhanced penalties. The Drunken driving charge is now punishable by 9 months in the county jail. At a minimum, the fines and court costs exceed $1500.00. Also included is 6 months of the extremely costly ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
A second Drunk Driving conviction within five years of a prior conviction carries a mandatory ten days in the county jail as part of the drunken driving penalties. Your car must be impounded for 30 days. The driver’s license suspension is for five years, and the fine for a second drunk driving conviction where the breathalyzer, blood, or urine BAC is over .15 is in excess of $2500.00. A two year ignition interlock device is required.
A third Drunk Driving conviction within 10 years of a prior conviction can be a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, with a minimum mandatory of 30 days in the county jail. Your license will now be suspended for 10 years. The fine for a breathalyzer, blood, or urine BAC in excess of .15 is over $4500.00.
A fourth conviction for Drunk Driving is also punishable by 5 years in prison. Your Florida Drivers license will be permanently revoked.
If you got a DUI, it is important to talk to a Tampa area DUI lawyer to discuss your options. Our DUI lawyers have successfully negotiated reductions of the DUI charge to reckless driving, careless driving, or even outright dismissals. These resolutions can enable you to avoid many of the harsh drunk driving penalties in Florida.
Contact our DUI lawyers at 1-800-790-5641 to set a free initial consultation to discuss your case.