LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Marcia Christina Hansen | Mar 22, 2011

Florida DUI most common questions and answers

FLORIDA STATUTE § 316.193-DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Questions and Answers

1.How is a person guilty of DUI?

A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and:

(a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired;

(b) The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or

(c)  The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

2. What are the associated fines, if found guilty?

(a) Not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for a first conviction.

(b)  Not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 for a second conviction

3. What is the associated imprisonment, if found guilty?

(a)  Not more than 6 months for a first conviction.

(b)  Not more than 9 months for a second conviction.

(c ) mandatory 10 days imprisonment if second conviction occurs within five years of first conviction.

(d) mandatory 30 days imprisonment if a third or subsequent conviction occurs within 10 years after the date of a prior DUI conviction.

4. Can I be placed on probation for a DUI?

Yes.

The court shall place all offenders convicted DUI on monthly reporting probation and shall require the following:

• completion of a substance abuse course conducted by a DUI program licensed by the department

• a psychosocial evaluation

• if referred to a substance abuse treatment provider for substance abuse treatment, in addition to any sentence or fine imposed under this section, completion of all such education, evaluation, and treatment is a condition of reporting probation.

• 50 hours of community service or $10 per each community service hour for a first conviction

• impoundment or immobilization for 10 days of the offender’s vehicle if a first conviction and 30 days if a second conviction occurring within 5 years of the first conviction.

5. How long can I be placed on probation for DUI?

(a) For the first conviction probation cannot exceed 1 year.

6. How about a lock on my car?

For a second conviction, mandatory placement for a period of at least 1 year, at the convicted person’s sole expense, of an ignition interlock device approved by the department in accordance with s. 316.1938 upon all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the convicted person, when the convicted person qualifies for a permanent or restricted license.

7. Can a DUI become a felony or is it always a misdemeanor?

(a) A DUI can become a felony when any person is convicted of a third DUI which occurs within 10 years after a prior conviction for DUI. This is a felony of the third degree with maximum punishment of five years imprisonment and a 2 year mandatory ignition interlock device when the individual qualifies for a permanent or restricted license.

(b) A DUI can become a third degree felony when any person is convicted of a fourth or subsequent violation of this section, regardless of when any prior DUI conviction occurs.

( c ) A DUI can become a first or second degree felony if it involves death of another.

8. I have been accused of DUI with damage/injury/serious bodily injury/death, what is the difference?

(a) Damage to the property or person of another commits a misdemeanor of the first degree,

(b) Serious bodily injury to another commits a felony of the third degree.

(c) The death of any human being or unborn quick child commits DUI manslaughter, and commits:

• A felony of the second degree

• A felony of the first degree if at the time of the crash, the person knew, or should have known, that the crash occurred; and the person failed to give information and render A person who is convicted of DUI manslaughter shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 4 years.

9. Can I serve imprisonment in a rehabilitation facility rather than jail/prison?

Yes. A defendant, in the court’s discretion, may be required to serve all or any portion of a term of imprisonment to which the defendant has been sentenced in a residential alcoholism treatment program or a residential drug abuse treatment program. Any time spent in such a program must be credited by the court toward the term of imprisonment.

10. If arrested for DUI, I heard there is a certain amount of time I have to stay in jail before released. Is that true?

Yes. A person who is arrested for a violation of this section may not be released from custody:

(a) Until the person is no longer under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance or any substance controlled under chapter 893 and affected to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired;

(b) Until the person’s blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level is less than 0.05; or

(c) Until 8 hours have elapsed from the time the person was arrested.

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