DUI PENALTIES AND PUNISHMENTS UNDER FLORIDA LAW
By far, the vast number of DUI arrests involve individuals with no prior DUI convictions. Many of these individuals have no prior criminal record. Many of our clients never expected to be charged with DUI. The consequences of a first DUI conviction can dramatic effect everything from an individuals employment opportunities to insurance rates. When the stakes are high, contact an attorney focused on drunk driving defense. If you have been arrested for DUI in Hillsborough County Florida, contact an experienced Tampa DUI Attorney at the Sammis Law Firm, P.A., to discuss your case at 813-250-0500.
If a person is convicted of Florida driving under the influence (“DUI”), then the person is subject to minimum statutory Florida DUI penalities. A Florida DUI requires proof beyond all reasonable doubt that the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to the extend the person’s normal faculties are impaired. Normal faculties include the things you do everyday such as walk, talk, drive a car, and make emergency decisions.
Even if the prosecutor cannot show that the person’s “normal faculties” were impaired, the prosecutor has another alternative way to prove DUI- being over the legal limit. Under this “per se” version of DUI, Florida law requires proof beyond all reasonable doubt that the person had a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or higher grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
Florida Statute Section 316.193 provides for the penalties that attached to a conviction for driving under the influence (“DUI”) in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida:
- Incarceration: Up to six (6) months in the Hillsborough County Jail (if the BAL is .15 or higher or a minor was in the vehicle then the jail time is up to nine (9) months);
- Term of Probation: Up to twelve (12) months (however the total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 12 months);
- DUI School: Level I twelve (12) hour class which includes a substance abuse evaluation and requires completion of any recommended follow up treatment before any hardship reinstatement (if reinstated after revocation period expires, failure to complete DUI school within 90 days after reinstatement will result in license cancellation);
- Community Service: Mandatory 50 hours of community service (but the court may allow you to buy out the community service hours at a rate of $10 per hour);
- Fine: The required fine for a first DUI in Florida is between $500 and $1,000 (with a BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000. Court may grant community service in lieu of DUI fines if defendant is unable to pay);
- Driver License Revocation Period: Minimum of six (6) months and maximum of twelve (12) months;
- Hardship Reinstatements: In order to reinstate the driver’s license for hardship purposes such as “business purposes” or “work purposes” the driver is required to complete DUI school. You must show proof of liability coverage or FR-44 insurance, pay $115 administrative fee, a $60 reinstatement fee, and a fee for the Florida driver’s license.
- Vehicle impoundment: Unless a hardship showing has been made, the Court must immobilize any vehicle in the defendant’s name for 10 days after any jail sentence is completed.
Click here to read more about the penalties for a
First DUI in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL.