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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
“Out of the Box” Defense Strategy

Drunk driving and license suspensions, penalties in Florida

When you are stopped for drunk driving in Florida, there are some requirements you must meet before you can have your license reinstated. If you're facing charges, remember that you don't have to accept the police's word necessarily; you have a right to defend yourself. With the right help, you may be able to have these penalties limited, reduced, or eliminated completely, however some are mandatory if you're convicted.

So, what happens if you make a mistake and get behind the wheel while you're intoxicated? When you have your first conviction, there are a few things you have to do to begin driving again. First, you have to complete DUI school. You'll also have to have a mandatory ignition interlock device installed into your vehicle for up to six months if your blood alcohol level was .15 or higher.

Second convictions begin to make penalties much more severe. You will have to have an ignition interlock device for at least a year, and you may have to have it for two if your blood alcohol level came back higher than .20.

If you have three convictions within 10 years, you begin to suffer serious penalties. You can lose your license for 10 years, but you may be able to apply for reinstatement after two. You'll need to go to a DUI school and also stay in a DUI supervision program for the entire revocation period. Before driving again, you will not be allowed to drink for at least 12 months. You'll be required to have an ignition interlock device for two years.

Source: Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, "Florida DUI and Administrative Suspension Laws," accessed April 20, 2016

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