Florida DUI Laws & Penalties

Under Florida DUI law chapter 316.193,F.S. a person is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance by either registering a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or greater or by proof of impairment of their normal faculties as observed by the arresting officer.

The arresting officer can prove probable cause of impairment by either his or her observation of the suspect's driving behavior before being stopped, the suspect's mannerisms during the stop and by the suspect failing any part of the field sobriety tests, if the suspect submitted to them.

Under 21 Years of Age

A person who is under 21 years of age who has any measurable amount of alcohol in their system is consider to under the influence and will be detained by the police and released from custody to a parent or guardian.

A first time offender under the age of 21 who had a blood alcohol level of .02% or greater will have their driver's license suspended for 6-months.  If the first time offender refused a chemical test, their license will be suspended for 1-year.  A second or subsequent offense will result in a 1-year suspension and a second or subsequent chemical test refusal will result in an 18 month suspension.



Commercial Motor Vehicle DUI

If you were driving a CMV with a blood alcohol level of .04% or greater, you are considered to be under the influence and you will not be able to drive any commercial motor vehicle for 1-year and you will not be eligible for a hardship license.  You will have to pay the DMV a $60 license reinstatement fee at the end of your revocation period.  If you were transporting hazardous materials when stopped for DUI, your license will be revoked for 3-years with no chance of a hardship license.

Florida Administrative Hearing Process

There are two types of administrative hearings you need to be aware of and you only have ten days from the date of your arrest to request one of the hearings:

The first is an informal hearing that must be held within ten days of the date of your request.  The informal hearing is conducted by an employee of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles who is called the hearing officer.  The hearing officer will review all of the evidence presented by the arresting officer and any evidence you present in your defense and will make their decision to either uphold the officer's decision to suspend your license, or if the evidence does not justify the suspension, the hearing officer will reinstate your driver's license.  No testimony will be heard by either the arresting officer or yourself at an informal hearing, to be able to testify on your behalf you must request a formal hearing.

formal hearing must be held within 30 days of you or your lawyer requesting the hearing.  At the formal hearing the hearing officer will place all parties present who will be testifying under oath.  The hearing officer will review all of the evidence presented by the arresting officer and hear testimony of the arresting officer.

The hearing officer will then review the evidence presented in your defense by your lawyer and will hear testimony from you and your lawyer, plus any witnesses that were subpoenaed.  After reviewing all of the evidence and hearing testimony from all parties, the hearing officer will make their decision to either uphold the suspension or rule in your favor and reinstate your license.

If you hope to have any chance of retaining your driving privileges and not have your license suspended, you must request a formal hearing and hire a skilled Florida DUI lawyer who has experience when it comes to representing clients at formal administrative hearings.

Obtaining a Florida Hardship License

If the hearing officer does not rule in your favor and reinstate your license, you may be eligible for a hardship license if you meet the following requirements:

  1. You have never been convicted of more than two DUI offenses.
  2. You enrolled in DUI school and must successfully complete the schooling within 90 days of a hardship license issuance.
  3. If your BAC level was .08% or greater, you have served your first 30 days of your suspension period or if you refused the chemical test, you have served the first 90 days of your suspension period.

If you meet the above requirements, you can request a Hardship Review Hearing at the end of your hardship suspension period to request a hardship license.  If the hearing officer determines that you are eligible for a hardship license he will give you the paperwork that you will submit at the DMV office to obtain your hardship license.  You will also be required to file an SR22 form with the DMV in order for them to issue you a hardship license.

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Florida First Offense DUI

A first offense DUI charge in Florida means that your blood alcohol concentration was .08% or greater and you have had no prior DUI convictions.  A first offense DUI charge is considered a misdemeanor charge and carries the following penalties:

  • Jail time: The jail time for a first offense with a blood alcohol concentration below .15% can be up to 6 months.  At the court's discretion they may grant a probationary period of 1-year in lieu of jail time along with a minimum of 50 hours of community service.

    If your blood alcohol level was .15% or greater or there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the court may impose a jail sentence of up to 9 months.

  • Fines: The minimum fine for a first offense is $500 and can go up to $1,000 as long as your blood alcohol level was .15% or less.  If your blood alcohol level was .15% or greater or there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the minimum fine will be $1,000 and can go as high as $2,000 at the court's discretion.
  • Community service: Mandatory 50 hours of community service for first time offenders. If the court grants community service, you will also have to pay an additional fine of $10 per hour for every hour of community service worked.
  • DUI school: A first time offender must enroll in DUI school and complete the schooling before a hardship license will be issued.  If you decide to enroll in DUI school after your revocation period, you will have to show proof of enrollment in DUI school to the DMV before they will reinstate your license.

    You must also complete the DUI school within 90 days of your reinstatement following your revocation period otherwise the DMV will cancel your license and you will not be able to attain another license until you complete the DUI schooling.

    You will be responsible for all fees associated with the impoundment.  If your family depends on your vehicle for transportation or if the vehicle in question is used by employees in a business you own, the court may dismiss the impoundment period.

  • Vehicle impoundment: As a condition of granting probation, the court will impound your vehicle for a period of 10 days.  The impoundment period will start at the end of a jail sentence.  So if you serve 30 days in jail, the 10 day impoundment period will start on the 31st day when you are released from jail.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required for 6 months for first time offenders who had a BAC above 0.15% or had a minor under 18 in the vehicle when stopped.
  • License revocation: The minimum revocation period for a first conviction is 180 days and the maximum revocation is 1-year.  If you refused or failed to complete a chemical test, your license will be revoked for 1-year.

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Florida Second Offense DUI

A second offense DUI charge in Florida means that your blood alcohol concentration was .08% or greater and you have been convicted of one prior DUI offense within the past 5-years.  A second offense charge is considered a misdemeanor charge and carries the following penalties:

  • Jail time: The mandatory minimum jail sentence for a second offense charge within 5-years is 10 days with a minimum of two of those days served consecutively and the maximum jail sentence as long as your blood alcohol level was below .14% is 9 months.  If you blood alcohol level was .15% or greater or there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the maximum jail sentence can be up to 1-year.
  • Fines: The minimum fine for a second offense is $1,000 and can go up to $2,000 as long as your blood alcohol level was .15% or less.  If your blood alcohol level was .15% or greater or there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the minimum fine will be $2,000 and can go as high as $4,000 at the court's discretion.
  • DUI school: If you are convicted of a second offense within 5-years of a previous conviction, you will need to enroll in and successfully complete DUI school before your license will be reinstated.
  • Vehicle impooundment: As a condition of granting probation, the court will impound your vehicle for a period of 30 days for a second offense that occurs within 5-years of a first offense conviction.  You will be responsible for all fees associated with the impoundment.  The impoundment period will start at the end of the jail sentence.  If your family depends on your vehicle for transportation or if the vehicle in question is used by employees in a business you own, the court may dismiss the impoundment period.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required for at least 1 year for all second offenses. Second time offenders who had a BAC above 0.15% or had a minor under 18 in the vehicle when stopped the IID is required for at least 2 years.
  • License revocation: The minimum revocation period for a second conviction within 5-years of a previous conviction will be 5-years and you may be eligible for a hardship license after 1-year of the revocation period. A second conviction beyond the 5-year period will result in a maximum revocation of 1-year.  If you refused or failed to complete the chemical test your license will be revoked for 18-months.

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Florida Third Offense DUI

A third offense DUI charge in Florida means that your blood alcohol concentration was .08% or greater and you have been convicted of two prior DUI offenses and at least one of those convictions was within the last 10-years.  A third offense charge can be elevated to a felony charge if an accident occurred involving serious bodily injuries to another person.  Otherwise a third offense charge is considered a misdemeanor charge and carries the following penalties:

  • Jail time: The mandatory jail sentence for a third offense conviction occurring within 10-years of a previous conviction will be no less than 30 days in jail.  A third conviction occurring more than 10-years since a previous conviction will result in a maximum jail sentence of 12-months. The length of the jail sentence will be at the court's discretion and will be based upon the circumstances surrounding your case and the previous convictions.
  • Fines: The minimum fine for a third offense DUI conviction occurring more than 10-years since a previous conviction will be $2,000 and can go as high as $5,000 at the court's discretion.  If your blood alcohol level was .15% or greater or a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the minimum fine will be $4,000.  The fine amount will be based upon the circumstances surrounding the offense, plus your previous offenses.
  • DUI school: If you are convicted of a third offense within 10-years of a previous conviction, you will need to enroll in and successfully complete DUI school before your license will be reinstated.
  • Vehicle impoundment: As a condition of granting probation, the court will impound your vehicle for a period of 90 days for a third offense that occurs within 10-years of a second offense conviction.  You will be responsible for all fees associated with the impoundment.  The impoundment period will start at the end of the jail sentence.

    If your family depends on your vehicle for transportation or if the vehicle in question is used by employees in a business you own, the court may dismiss the impoundment period.

  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock will be required for at least 2 years for all third offenses.
  • License revocation: The revocation period for a third conviction within 10-years of a previous conviction, will be a minimum 10-year revocation period and you may be eligible for a hardship license after 2-years of the revocation period.  A third conviction beyond the 10-year period with no more than one previous conviction within the past 5-years will result in a maximum revocation of 5-years.  If you refused or failed to complete the chemical test your license will be revoked for 10-years.

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Florida Fourth or Subsequent Offense DUI

A fourth or subsequent offense DUI charge in Florida means that your blood alcohol concentration was .08% or greater and you have been convicted of three prior DUI offenses and at least one of those convictions was within the last 10-years.  A fourth or subsequent offense charge can be elevated to a felony charge if an accident occurred involving serious bodily injuries to another person.  Otherwise a fourth offense charge is considered a misdemeanor charge and carries the following penalties:



  • Jail time: The maximum imprisonment term for a fourth or subsequent offense is 5-years. The length of imprisonment will be at the court's discretion and will be based upon the circumstances surrounding your case and the previous convictions.
  • Fines: The minimum fine amount for a fourth or subsequent offense will be $2,000 or up to $5,000 if the fourth or subsequent offense is a felony conviction.  The fine amount will be based upon the circumstances surrounding the offense, plus your previous offenses.
  • Vehicle impoundment: As a condition of granting probation, the court will impound your vehicle for a period of 90 days for a fourth or subsequent offense that occurs within 10-years of a third offense conviction.  You will be responsible for all fees associated with the impoundment.  The impoundment period will start at the end of the imprisonment term.

    If your family depends on your vehicle for transportation or if the vehicle in question is used by employees in a business you own, the court may dismiss the impoundment period.

  • License revocation: A fourth or subsequent DUI conviction will result in a permanent license revocation with no chance of reinstatement and no chance of a hardship license.

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Florida SR22 Requirements

Before the Florida DMV will reinstate your license following your revocation period or before issuing you a hardship license, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your Florida SR22 insurancecoverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the Florida DMV of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the Florida DMV will immediately suspended your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the DMV before they will issue you another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Florida and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a SR22 insurance policy in Florida for any less. Just click below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other Florida DUI Resources

  • Florida First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.

  • Florida SR22 Insurance Filings - We have compiled everything you need to know about Florida's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • Florida DUI Programs - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI programs listed by County.

  • Florida Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of Florida bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.