Choose a
Different State

Go

Florida Driver Handbook: Driving While Under the Influence

Study for your upcoming driver's license test or learner's permit exam with the Florida Driver Handbook.

Order now

Florida Driver Handbook: Driving While Under the Influence

Order now

Table of Contents

4. Driving Privilege

You can be charged with DUI if you are found to be driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances. Controlled substances include: prescription drugs, depressants, stimulants, narcotics, hallucinogens and model glue or other inhalants.

At the time of arrest, you will be administratively suspended if you have a breath or blood alcohol level of .08 or above or refuse to submit to a chemical test.

4.6.1 - Penalties for DUI

(Including previous DWI and DUBAL convictions)

First DUI Conviction

Fine $500-$1,000, with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not less than 1,000 or more than $2,000
Community Service 50 hours
Probation Not more than 1 year
Imprisonment Not more than 6 months; with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
License Revocation Minimum 180 days
DUI School 12 hours DUI School Requirement Evaluation conducted to determine need for treatment
Ignition Interlock Device Up to 6 continuous months

Second DUI Offense/Conviction

Fine $1,000-$2000, with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not less than $2000 or more than $4000
Imprisonment Not more than 9 months; 2nd conviction within 5 years, 10 days in jail, 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive
License Revocation Minimum 180 days; 2nd offense within 5 years after first conviction; 5 year revocation
DUI School 21 hours DUI School Requirement Evaluation conducted to determine need for treatment
Ignition Interlock Device Minimum of one continuous year

Third DUI Offense/Conviction

Fine $2,000-$5,000, with BAL .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle, not less than $4,000
Imprisonment Not more than 12 months; 3rd conviction within 10 years, mandatory 30 days in jail; 48 hours must be consecutive
License Revocation Minimum 180 days; 3rd offense within 10 years after second conviction; 10 year revocation
DUI School 21 hours DUI School Requirement Evaluation conducted to determine need for treatment
Ignition Interlock Device Minimum of two continuous years

Fourth or More DUI Conviction

Fine Not less than $1000
Imprisonment Not more than 5 years
License Revocation Permanent revocation
Ignition Interlock Device Five years

4.6.2 - Drinking and Driving

If you drink alcohol, even a little, your chances of being in a crash is much greater than if you did not drink any alcohol. No one can drink alcohol and drive safely, even if you have been driving for many years. Young drivers are more affected by alcohol because their bodies are still in the growth process and their livers have not developed to the extent that they can efficiently process the alcohol in their bloodstream.

Because drinking alcohol and then driving is so dangerous, the penalties are very tough. People who drive after drinking risk heavy fines, higher insurance rates, loss of license and even jail sentences. A DUI conviction will remain on your driving record for 75 years.

4.6.3 - The Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Alcohol reduces all of the important skills necessary to drive safely, such as judgment, reaction, vision and concentration. Alcohol is absorbed into the lining of the stomach and then passes directly into the bloodstream and reaches your brain within minutes after consumption. Alcohol affects those areas of your brain that control judgment and skill and is one reason why drinking alcohol is so dangerous; it affects your judgment. A person's judgment is the first thing affected after drinking an alcoholic beverage. Good judgment is important to driving but in this case, judgment helps you to know when to stop drinking. Alcohol puts good judgment on hold. You do not know when you have had too much to drink until it is too late. It is a little like a sunburn, by the time you feel it, it is already too late.

Alcohol slows your reflexes and reaction time, reduces your ability to see clearly and makes you less alert. As the amount of alcohol in your body increases, your judgment worsens and your skills decrease. You will have trouble judging distances, speeds and the movement of other vehicles. You will also have trouble controlling your vehicle. If You Drink, Do Not Drive! The best advice is, if you drink alcohol, do not drive. Even one drink of alcohol can affect your driving. With two or more drinks in your bloodstream you are impaired and could be arrested.

It takes about an hour for your body to get rid of each drink. Time is the only thing that will sober you up. There are ways of dealing with social situations. Arrange to go with two or more persons and agree which one of you will not drink alcohol. You can rotate among the group being a "designated driver." You can use public transportation or a taxi, if available. You can be put in jail or required to pay a fine for the following offenses:

4.6.4 - Implied Consent Law

You will be asked to take a blood test, a urine test, or a breath test if an officer thinks that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving. By law, if you drive in Florida, you have agreed by signing your driver license to take these tests if asked. If you refuse to take the tests when asked, your license will automatically be suspended for one year. A second refusal will result in an 18 month suspension and a first degree misdemeanor.

In DUI cases involving death or serious injury, you will be required to take the blood test without your consent. The blood must be drawn by a doctor, nurse or other health professional. If you are unconscious and cannot refuse the blood test, blood may be drawn. The results of the test may be used as evidence, even if you object after becoming conscious.

4.6.5 - Other Drugs and Driving

Besides alcohol, there are many other drugs that can affect a person's ability to drive safely. These drugs can have effects like those of alcohol, or even worse. This is true of many prescription drugs and even many of the drugs you can buy without a prescription. Drugs taken for headaches, colds, hay fever or other allergies or those to calm nerves can make a person drowsy and affect their driving. Pep pills, "uppers" and diet pills can cause a person to be nervous, dizzy, and unable to concentrate and can affect his or her vision. Other prescription drugs can affect your reflexes, judgment, vision and alertness in ways similar to alcohol.

If you are driving, check the label before you take a drug for warnings about its effects. If you are not sure it is safe to take the drug and drive, ask your doctor or pharmacist about any side effects.

Never drink alcohol while you are taking other drugs. These drugs could multiply the effects of alcohol or have additional effects of their own. These effects not only reduce your ability to be a safe driver but could cause serious health problems, even death.

Illegal and some legal drugs may affect your ability to be a safe driver.