Different Types of DUI in Florida

police car pulling over a truck

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Florida, with strict laws and severe penalties designed to deter impaired driving and protect public safety. Understanding the different types of DUIs and the corresponding penalties is crucial for Florida drivers. This article will explore the various categories of DUI offenses in the state and outline the potential consequences for each.

Standard DUI

A standard DUI in Florida occurs when a driver operates a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Law enforcement officers can also charge a driver with a DUI if they are impaired by alcohol or drugs, regardless of their BAC level.

First-time offenders face significant penalties, including fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, community service requirements, probation, and mandatory DUI education programs. Additionally, their driver's license may be suspended for six months to a year, and their vehicle may be impounded for 10 days.

Enhanced Penalties for High BAC

Florida imposes enhanced penalties for drivers caught with a BAC of 0.15% or higher. For first-time offenders, these penalties include increased fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 and the possibility of up to nine months in jail.

The court may also require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on the driver's vehicle for at least six months. Subsequent offenses with a high BAC result in even harsher penalties, including longer jail sentences, higher fines, and extended IID requirements.

DUIs Involving Minors

Driving under the influence with a minor passenger in the vehicle is a serious aggravating factor in Florida. If a driver is convicted of a DUI while transporting a minor, they face additional penalties.

For a first-time offense, the fines range from $1,000 to $2,000, and the driver may face up to nine months in jail. Repeat offenders with a minor in the vehicle can expect even more severe consequences, including higher fines and longer jail terms.

Commercial Vehicle DUIs

Commercial drivers in Florida are held to a stricter standard than non-commercial drivers. A commercial driver can be charged with a DUI if their BAC is 0.04% or higher. Penalties for a first-time DUI conviction include a one-year disqualification from operating commercial vehicles, fines, and potential jail time.

If the DUI occurred while transporting hazardous materials, the disqualification period increases to three years. Subsequent offenses can result in a lifetime ban from operating commercial vehicles.

Underage DUIs

Florida has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. An underage driver can be charged with a DUI if their BAC is 0.02% or higher. Penalties for underage DUI offenses include a six-month driver's license suspension for a first offense and a one-year suspension for subsequent offenses.

Additionally, underage drivers may be required to participate in substance abuse education programs and perform community service.

Felony DUIs

In certain circumstances, a DUI in Florida can be classified as a felony. A third DUI offense within 10 years or any fourth DUI offense is considered a third-degree felony. Penalties for felony DUI convictions include fines up to $5,000, up to five years in prison, and mandatory IID installation. DUIs involving serious bodily injury to another person are also classified as third-degree felonies, with similar penalties.

DUI Manslaughter

DUI manslaughter is one of the most severe DUI offenses in Florida. It occurs when a driver operating under the influence causes the death of another person.

This offense is typically charged as a second-degree felony, with penalties including up to 15 years in prison, fines up to $10,000, and permanent revocation of the driver's license. If the driver flees the scene, the charge can be elevated to a first-degree felony, resulting in up to 30 years in prison and even higher fines.

We Can Help You Fight Your DUI Charges

Regardless of how serious your DUI charges are, Law Office of Russell B. McCormick, PA can help you fight them. Our experienced criminal defense attorney has 15 years of winning experience that he can apply to your case.

When building your defense, we can fully investigate the evidence against you and scrutinize how law enforcement conducted its investigation. Evidence that’s faulty or improperly obtained could help your case, potentially leading to a dismissal or acquittal. If the evidence against you is strong, there’s still hope. We may be able to negotiate a plea bargain for lesser charges with much less severe penalties compared to the DUI charges you currently face.

It’s your right to stand up to unfair criminal accusations and fight them. We’re here to help.

Contact Law Office of Russell B. McCormick, PA to request an initial consultation.

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