Florida DUI Laws, Limits, and Penalties

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When driving in Florida, you may be familiar with the feeling of being pulled over by law enforcement and knowing they are looking for signs of impaired driving. It can be stressful, not just because getting a ticket is never fun but also because Florida has some strict DUI laws with severe penalties. If you’re unfamiliar with the state DUI laws or need to brush up on how severe punishment can be once cited for an offense, I’m here to help.

What is the Florida Blood Alcohol Limit (BAC)?

Under Florida statute, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of any alcoholic beverage, chemical agent, or controlled substance is a single criminal offense. This may be demonstrated through diminishing one’s normal faculties or having an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level above 0.08%. There are no different punishments for each way the crime can be proven; those found guilty will receive similar penalties regardless of how it was established.

Fines and Punishments

First Conviction:

  • Between $500 and $1,000.
  • If your BAL is .15 or higher, or if there are minors in the car, you will pay a fine between $1,000 and $2,000.

Second Conviction:

  • Between $1000 and $2000
  • If your BAL is .15 or higher, or if there are minors in the car, you will pay a fine between $2,000 and $4,000.

Third Conviction with ten years from the second conviction:

  • Between $2000 and $5000
  • If your BAL is .15 or higher, or if there are minors in the car, you will pay a fine of not less than $4,000.

Fourth Conviction:

  • Not less than $2,000.
  • If BAL was .15 or higher, or if there was a minor in the vehicle, not less than $4,000.

If you receive a DUI, the court may impose additional penalties. Read section 316.193 of Florida Statutes to find out more about what those possible charges could include.


The court may grant alternate sentencing, allowing offenders to serve their time in a residential drug or alcohol treatment program. This would count towards the total term of imprisonment imposed by the court.

First Conviction:

  • A maximum of six months imprisonment.
  • If BAL exceeded .15 or a minor was present in the vehicle, one could be sent to prison for up to nine months.

Second Conviction:

  • A maximum of nine months in detention.
  • If your Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) is .15 or higher, or if there’s a minor in the car, you may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to twelve months.
  • Those convicted of a crime for the second time within five years of their previous conviction must serve at least ten days in prison. Of those ten days, 48 hours must be served consecutively.

Third Conviction:

  • If an individual is found guilty of their third offense within ten years of a previous conviction, they must serve at least 30 days in prison. Additionally, for this punishment to be valid, a minimum of 48 hours must be served consecutively.
  • For those convicted of a third offense more than ten years following their second conviction, imprisonment may not exceed 12 months.

Fourth Conviction:

  • Imprisonment for not more than five years.

If you are caught driving under the influence in Florida, there are several penalties you may face. These include but are not limited to license suspension, fines, and jail time. The severity of your penalties will depend on several factors, including your blood alcohol level, prior DUI convictions, and whether or not anyone was injured due to your actions. If you have been charged with a DUI in Florida, you must contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.