DUI Penalties FAQs
Are there special considerations and penalties for someone who is underage and arrested for DUI in Florida?
Individuals under 21 can get a DUI with a BAC of just 0.02. Typically, a minor who is caught driving under the influence of alcohol is a first-time offender. He or she may be subjected to the same penalties as anyone else who is convicted of DUI, including jail time, suspended driver’s license, fines, community service, DUI school, and more; however, the judge may consider certain mitigating factors such as the defendant’s age and the fact that he or she has no prior record when issuing a sentence. Mitigating factors work in the defendant’s favor to reduce the penalties. Instead of jail time, a first-time DUI offender may be sentenced to counseling so as to avoid him or her committing the same offense a second time. A first-time DUI offender might have the option to go through a pretrial diversion program to avoid a conviction and a permanent criminal record.
How long does a DUI conviction stay on my record in Florida?
A DUI conviction will stay on your record forever. A DUI from 30 years ago will show up on a background check for employment, housing, or any other reason someone might conduct a background check on you. DUI is not an expungable or sealable offense in Florida because a DUI conviction requires an adjudication of guilt. If you work with a DUI attorney quickly upon your DUI arrest, it may be possible to expunge or seal the charges against you or have your charges dropped.
How will a Florida DUI conviction affect me other than the criminal penalties and the license loss?
Future employers and other entities who may need to run a background check on you will see your DUI no matter how long ago it was. A DUI will drastically increase your car insurance rates if you are lucky enough to find a plan that covers a person with a DUI on their driving record. A DUI conviction can also impact your professional license and certification if you are a doctor, nurse, therapist, counselor, attorney, or other professional who requires a license to practice. Read more about the hidden effects of a DUI.
If I am convicted of a DUI, what punishment might I expect?
A person convicted of a DUI will usually face a mandatory minimum punishment. For a first-time DUI offense, the includes a year of probation, monetary fines, court costs, DUI school, DUI treatment, 50 hours of community service, 6-month suspension of your driver’s license, and the attendance of a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim impact panel. The court may impose harsher penalties depending on the facts of the case. Mandatory minimum punishments increase in severity the more DUIs you have on your record.
Will I lose my driver’s license following a DUI conviction?
In Florida, every individual convicted of a DUI will have their license suspended for a period of time. A first-time DUI offense without bodily injury may lead to a revocation of 180 days and a maximum revocation of one year.
A second DUI offense within five years of the first DUI conviction may lead to a revocation of at least five years. The individual may apply for a hardship license after one year.
A third DUI offense within ten years of the second conviction may lead to a revocation of a minimum of 10 years. The individual may apply for a hardship reinstatement after two years.
The more DUIs you have, the longer you will go without a valid driver’s license. Upon your fourth conviction, you may permanently lose your driver’s license.
Will I go to jail after being arrested for drunk driving in Florida?
In Palm Beach County, any individual arrested for a DUI will be taken to the Palm Beach County jail and held there a minimum of 8 hours following his arrest. This is purely for the sake of ensuring that the individual that law enforcement has accused of being impaired does not get back out on the road.
What makes a DUI or DWI a felony?
A DUI or DWI becomes a felony DUI offense in Florida when an individual has prior convictions for DUI, or if individuals are seriously injured or killed in an accident involving a drunk driver. A DUI accident that results in death is referred to as DUI manslaughter and it is a felony charge.
What happens to my driver’s license if I get a DUI ticket?
When an individual is ticketed with a DUI in Florida, that DUI citation itself acts as a notice that your license is now formally suspended if you’ve refused a blood, breath, or urine test, or if you have submitted to those tests and have shown an illegal amount of a substance — whether alcohol or drugs — in your system. You should contact a DUI lawyer after your DUI citation so that you can take steps to recover your driving privilege or apply for a hardship license.
What is a notice of driver’s license suspension in Florida?
After a person is arrested for DUI, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles must issue a notice of administrative driver’s license suspension to alert the driver that, when he receives this notice, his license suspension starts immediately. The notice starts the time period in which an individual can apply to the DMV to obtain a work permit in certain circumstances. For example, if you are on your second DUI, you must wait two years to apply for the hardship license. The two years begins right when you receive the notice of your license suspension.
What is an ignition interlock device?
In Florida, an ignition interlock device or IID is a device that is installed into the vehicle so that your car will not start unless you blow into it with a clean breath sample. The car will not start or run if your breath contains any alcohol particles.
The court may sentence you to install an IID upon a DUI conviction as part of your sentence. You would have to install the IID at your own cost.