While first time offenders do not necessarily have the book thrown at them for DUI convictions in Florida, repeat offenders are not so lucky. License suspensions can be reduced to lower terms, but the initial suspensions issued for repeat offenders are among the toughest in the country.
Consequences for Refusing to Take Chemical Tests
Because suspension times are so long for repeat offenders, refusing to take a chemical test may be a very real option if you are arrested and charged for DUI in Florida. While the suspension must be served regardless of the outcome of the case in court, these suspensions are far less than those offered if you are convicted. In the state of Florida, chemical test refusals will result in penalties of:
- First offense – one year suspension
- Second offense – 18-month suspension
- Third offense – 18-month suspension
Challenging BAC Levels in Court
Florida uses the same blood alcohol content levels as most other states in the country:
- Drivers that are 21 years or older, .08 percent
- Drivers under the age of 21, .02 percent
- Commercial drivers, .04 percent
Is There Mandatory Jail Time Required for a DUI in Florida?
If you are convicted of a DUI in Florida, you will go to jail. While the maximum sentences are relatively lenient, the minimum sentences for both first and second offenses are significant. All mandatory sentences are posted below:
- First time offenders – six months to nine months in jail.
- Second time offenders – nine months to one year in jail
- Third time offenders – up to one year in jail
Florida offers a five-year washout term for second offenses and a ten-year washout period for third offenses.
Monetary Fines and Penalties for DUI in Florida
Florida’s DUI monetary fines can escalate rather quickly, especially on the top end:
- First offense – fines ranging from $500 to $2,000
- Second offense – fines ranging from $1,000 to $4,000
- Third offense – fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000
License Suspension for DUI in Florida
As we mentioned above, repeat DUI offenders in Florida can expect an extended license suspension if convicted:
- First offense – 180 days to one year
- Second offense – five-year suspension (may be reduced to one year)
- Third offense – 10-year suspension (may be reduced to two years)
IID installation is required for any DUI conviction.
Finding a DUI Attorney in Florida
With significant fines and suspensions at risk, you may want to hire a DUI attorney in Florida if you are arrested and charged. Please note, there is the possibility of pleading to wet reckless, a lesser charge that will allow you to avoid having a DUI on your record. This is usually a possibility if your BAC was borderline and there were no children and/or injuries involved in the DUI. To learn more about wet reckless and to find a Florida DUI Rights attorney, Fill out the Free Florida DUI Arrest Evaluation Form Now!