As laws are always changing in Florida, it never hurts to brush up on changes to the laws that may affect you. And, as a driver in the state of Florida, it pays to know exactly what DUI laws are on the books before you get behind the wheel. This is what you need to know in 2023 about Florida’s DUI laws.
Per Florida’s driver handbook, driving under the influence (DUI) is when a driver is
“found to be driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, prescriptions, or over-the-counter medications.”
In order to determine whether a driver is under the influence, law enforcement may ask you to perform a field sobriety test or a blood, urine, or breath test. Refusal to submit to testing is not a legal option, as state law deems a licensed driver to having consented to such testing as a part of having a Florida drivers license. Refusal to submit to testing the first time may lead to a license suspension of up to a year. Subsequent refusals are likely to result in license suspension of 18 months and a misdemeanor charge, which could yield a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail term of one year.
Blood Alcohol Content Limits
Florida has three legal limits for blood alcohol content when driving:
Adult non-commercial drivers 21 years and older – 0.08%
Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders – 0.04%
Drivers younger than 21 years of age – 0.02%
Juvenile drivers have a much lower legal limit due to Florida’s “zero tolerance” policy on underage drinking and driving. More on that later.
For adult non-commercial drivers, a conviction of DUI in Florida is as follows:
First Offense – Fine of between $500 and $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail, unless BAC is 0.15% or greater or a child is present in the vehicle, in which case the fine ranges from between $1,000 and $2,000, and up to 9 months in jail, and the court may assign an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on the vehicle. Driver’s license may be suspended for between 180 days and one year.
Second Offense – Fine of between $1,000 and $2,000 and up to 9 months in jail, unless BAC is 0.15% or greater or a child is present in the vehicle, in which case the fine ranges from between $2,000 and $4,000 and a jail sentence of up to 12 months. Driver’s license may be suspended for between 180 days and one year. IID for two years.
Third Offense not within 10 years – Fine of between $2,000 and $5,000 and up to 12 months in prison, unless BAC is 0.15% or greater or a child is present in the vehicle, in which case the fine ranges from between $2,000 and $4,000. Driver’s license may be suspended for between 180 days and one year. IID for two years.
Third Offense within 10 years – Fines same as above, but imprisonment ranges from 30 days to 5 years. Driver’s license suspended for at least 10 years.