In the state of Florida, a driver can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) for one of two reasons. A driver who is driving as though impaired and has alcohol or drugs in his or her system can be arrested for a Florida DUI. It does not matter how much alcohol or drugs are in a driver's system for this type of arrest.
Drivers can also be booked for a Florida DUI based on their blood or breath alcohol levels (BAL). A Florida driver's blood alcohol must be lower than .08%. Any BAL test that comes back as .08% or above is considered a DUI, even if the driver's actions did not appear to be impaired.DUI Arrests in Florida
If a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of DUI in Florida, you will be asked to submit to a breath or urine test. You have the right to refuse this test. However, if you do, your guilt will be assumed and you will be arrested.
A Florida DUI arrest results in two separate cases. You will be tried in a traditional court case and you will also face a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles case. At the time of your arrest you will be given a 10-day permit to drive. After these 10 days, your license will be suspended for 30 days. You need to secure a lawyer and file all of the paperwork for the two cases during this 10-day permit time. This way you can apply for a hardship license as quickly as possible.Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
If you are facing your first Florida DUI and you had a BAL less than .20%, here are the consequences you face:
If your BAL was .20% or higher, you face the above penalties, with these increased amounts:
Some of these penalties can be waved or replaced if a significant hardship on you or your family can be proven in court. For example, if your vehicle is the only mode of transportation for your family, you may not have to have it impounded for the 10 days. Subsequent offenses face stricter penalties.License Suspension for Florida DUI
Besides the previously mentioned consequences, a Florida DUI conviction will also cause you to lose your license. Periods of license revocation are as follows:
Florida law allows you to apply for a hardship reinstatement that will allow you to drive to and from work after you have completed your DUI education requirement. Fourth offenders cannot apply for hardship reinstatement. In order for you to get a florida dui hardship license, you should enroll in and complete a DUI course at your local facility. However, not everyone who has been convicted of DUI in Florida is automatically eligible for a hardship license. It will depend on the previous number of DUI charges, your submission record of BAC breath test along with other factors. If your Florida driver's license was suspended by DMV, then the hardship license will allow you to drive in limited distances.Insurance Consequences
Before you can get your license back or apply for a hardship license, you will have to have proof of vehicle insurance. This is difficult to attain because many car insurance companies will not grant you a policy after being convicted of a Florida DUI. Your existing insurance company may even drop your policy when they learn of your arrest. If you can get a policy, you can expect to pay a high price for it.