Under Florida law, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances is one crime. DUI may be proved in one or both ways. One way is by an individual having impairment of normal faculties by alcohol or drugs, be they prescribed or illegal. The second way DUI may be proved is by an individual having an unlawful breath/blood alcohol level of .08 or above.
The penalties for either conviction is the same, regardless of the manner in which the DUI is proven.
Penalties First Offense:
DUI penalties for a first conviction are a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000 dollars.
However, if the blood/breath alcohol content (BAC) was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, the fine is not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 dollars.
Along with the fine court cost, cost of prosecution and in some case cost of the investigation will be accessed by the Court at the time the case is resolved. These costs vary county to county.
Along with the fine there is a possibility of a jail sentence which could be up to 6 months in the county jail, unless the BAC is .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, jail cannot be for more than 9 months. In most case an offender will serve a term of probation, conditions of probation will include completing the DUI school, a drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment if indicated, offender will be prohibited from consuming alcohol while on probation and some courts will order the offender not to patronize and establishment whose primary business is severing alcohol. Further, if there is a crash involved, the offender could be ordered to attend a victim impact panel (VIP). The VIP is usually held by MADD. In Lee County the offender may be ordered to attend the Lee Memorial Hospital's trauma program.
Vehicle Impound, Immobilization:
Further the offender's vehicle is subject to immobilization or impoundment for 10 days unless the family of the offender has no other transportation.
Administrative Driver License Suspension Law:
First suspension, at time of arrest, for persons over the age of 21 with an alcohol level of .08 or above or persons under the age of 21 with an alcohol level of .02 or above, 6 months. Contact Mr. Rutkowski to lean how the administrative suspension and DUI convictions interact.
Driver License Revocation Periods at Time of Conviction:
For a First DUI conviction without bodily injury the minimum suspension period is 6 months with a maximum of 1 year. If the first offense involves a crash with bodily injury the minimum is a 3-year revocation. If offender's BAC is a .15+ an Ignition Interlock must be installed in the vehicle for 6 months. Contact Mr. Rutkowski to lean how the administrative suspension and DUI convictions interact.
Business Purpose License:
For a first DUI conviction the offender must complete DUI school and apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles for a hearing for a possible hardship reinstatement. There is a mandatory ignition interlock device that must be installed on the vehicle for up to six months if the offender's BAC of .15 or higher.
DUI Crash Involving Property Damage or Personal Injury
An offender who causes property damage or personal injury to another person while driving under the influence is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor (not more than $1,000 fine or one-year imprisonment).