If you have been arrested for a DUI in Florida your Florida drivers license will potentially be suspended or revoked. That is why you need an experienced DUI defense lawyer who is also an experienced suspended license lawyer. Guy Seligman is an experienced DUI defense lawyer as well as suspended license lawyer.
Florida laws regarding a DUI arrest are very strict. Below you will see them right from the Florida DMV:
Drunk Driving Penalties in Florida
If you drink alcohol and drive you dramatically increase your chance of being in a crash. In addition, if you are pulled over and the officer asks you to take a blood, urine or breath test you are required to comply. Florida has the "Implied Consent Law". When you sign your drivers license you have agreed to take these tests upon request. Refusal to take any of the tests will result in an immediate suspension for one year. A second refusal will result in an 18 month suspension.
2011 DUI Statistics
According to Florida DMV records there were 33,625 DUI convictions in Florida in 2011. Of the 55,722 DUI tickets issued in Florida in 2011 – 9,328 were issued by the FHP, 23,649 were issued by police departments in Florida, and 21,868 were issued by Florida Sheriffs departments.
2010 Florida DUI Convictions in the large Florida Counties
Hillsborough County (Tampa) – 3,256
Miami-Dade – (Miami) – 2,274
Duval County – (Jacksonvile Area) – 2,222
Pinellas County (St Petersburg) – 1,824
Palm Beach County (West Palm Beach) – 1,561
Orange County (Orlando) – 1,383
Brevard County (Melbourne) – 1,072
Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) – 985
Florida law mandates that any driver convicted of a second DUI have an Ingnition Interlock device installed in their vehicle. A judge may order an Interlock installed on first convictions depending on circumstances. Read the details of the Florida Ignition Interlock program.
No one can drink alcohol and still drive safely. Drinking and driving causes accidents and deaths every day and therefore the penalties in Florida are very tough. If you drink and drive the result may be jail time, loss of your Florida drivers license, heavy fines, and much higher auto insurance rates. And a conviction will stay on your Florida driving record for 75 years.
Zero Tolerance for Drivers under 21
Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21. This means that any driver under 21 that is stopped by law enforcement and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their Florida drivers license suspended for 6 months. The .02 limit really means that you cannot have a single drink and drive. And that's the idea.
For drivers over 21 the legal limit in Florida is .08. Regardless of your age be aware that drinking and driving is considered a serious offense. Below we have summarized the penalties in the state of Florida for a first offense DUI, but the average cost including legal defense, fines, and auto insurance increases is $8000.
Florida Penalties for DUI First Conviction
Fine – $250 to $500
Community Service – 50 Hours
Probation – Not more than 1 Year
Imprisonment – Not more than 6 Months
Imprisonment with BAL of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
License Revocation – Minimum of 180 days
DUI School – 12 Hours
There are additional penalties for habitual DUI convictions.