Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

What are the penalties for impaired driving in Florida?

Florida law sets penalties for drunk driving, as well as driving under the influence of drugs. Convictions can result in fines, community service, incarceration, probation and vehicle impoundment. When you think about the severity of the penalties, you will probably be ready to get started on your defense.

Can I go to jail for impaired driving?

You can go to jail for impaired driving, even on a first offense. The first time you are convicted, you face up to six months in jail. A second conviction can mean up to nine months. If you get a third conviction in 10 years, there is a minimum imprisonment of 30 days that is mandatory. The fourth conviction results in you being classified as a habitual offender and can mean up to five years in prison.

Increased imprisonment terms are possible if you have a minor in the vehicle with you or if you have a BAC of .15 percent or higher. On a first conviction, you could face a maximum of nine months in jail instead of six months.

What fines do I face?

On a first conviction, you face a $500 to $1,000 fine. That increases with each subsequent conviction. If you have a fourth conviction, the fine is a minimum of $2,000. There are also increased fines if you have a BAC of .15 percent or higher or if you have a minor in the vehicle. This means that on a first offense with one of these, you face a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $2,000.

Increased penalties are also associated with impaired driving accidents that include injuries or property damage. The same is true for cases that involve vehicular homicide or manslaughter.

Source: Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, "Florida DUI and Administrative Suspension Laws," accessed Sep. 15, 2016

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