Florida DUI First Offense

A first-offense DUI is a serious infraction in the state of Florida. If you are stopped on suspicion of DUI and have a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher, you can be arrested and charged. Although a charge is not a conviction, the penalties for even this first offense begin almost immediately after you are taken into custody.

Penalties for a First Offense

The seriousness of a DUI conviction cannot be understated. Your first DUI can result in a loss of license as well as time behind bars. If you are convicted, you may be sentenced to up to six months in jail and could lose your license for a period of 180 days to one year. You may also be required to attend DUI school and perform community service hours. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your vehicle may also be impounded. In addition, you will be responsible for fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, in addition to any legal fees you may incur.

Double the Legal Limit

The legal limit for blood alcohol content is 0.08%. If you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving and are found to have a BAC at or above 0.15%—nearly double the legal limit—you will face increased penalties that may include up to nine months in jail and $1,000 to $2,000 in fines. You will further be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for six months at your expense.

Breathalyzer Refusal

Florida is among many states with implied consent laws that impose harsh penalties for refusing the state-administered breath test. Under implied consent, any licensed driver on a public road will give his consent to submit to a chemical test for blood alcohol content. Refusal to do so during your first DUI may result in an automatic one-year suspension of your drivers license, on top of any criminal penalties you will face.