Important Things to Know About DUI in Florida

The state of Florida has very strict laws when it comes to driving under the influence (DUI). As a driver in Florida, it is crucial to know what the laws and penalties are for drunk driving. Our attorney covers general information about DUIs and how it can affect more than your driving record. 


DUI Explained 

A DUI is considered a criminal offense. You do not necessarily have to be “drunk” to receive a DUI. In Florida, you are considered “under the influence” if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above (this is generally about 2 drinks) and/or show evidence of impairment. This could be slurred speech, slowed reflexes, or falling down. No matter which method law enforcement decides to use to show you are impaired; the penalties are the same. 

It is also very important to note that driving under the influence does not always imply the consumption of alcohol. You can receive a DUI for: 

  • chemical substances,  
  • illegal drugs,  
  • sleeping pills,  
  • and/or illegal medication.  

Any substance that may impair your judgment while driving can result in a DUI arrest. If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence, call our top-notch legal team or email an attorney.  

Can I Get a DUI if I’m not Driving?  

Perhaps you pulled over to sleep it off…But, you do not necessarily have to be driving to get a DUI. In Florida, a person can be charged with a DUI even if they are not operating the car.  

As long as you have the keys, are inside the vehicle, and the vehicle is functional you can be charged with DUI. The next time you feel you have had too much to drink, you might want to think twice about even sitting in your car while you wait for the effects of the alcohol to decrease.  

Instead of having to call us after the arrest has happened, please call a car service. We offer affordable representation for first-time DUI offenders and can help you apply for the RIDR program if it best suits your unique case. Call our Tampa, FL DUI attorney today – we’re available 24/7.  

DUI Penalties 

When you received your driver’s license from the DMV, you gave the State your implied consent to take certain tests upon request. What does this mean in regards to driving while drinking? 

When you are pulled over and the police officer asks you to take a blood, urine, or breathalyzer test you have already agreed to comply. If you do refuse, some penalties may apply such as the suspension of your driver’s license for a year or more.

Even if you have never had a DUI before, a first conviction can have severe consequences. The judge will look at your specific circumstances leading up to the DUI charge, and will generally use these guidelines when imposing penalties: 


  • Fines: Fines on average are between $500 and $1000. If your blood alcohol content was 0.15 or higher, or a minor was in the vehicle, the fine could be between $1,000 and $2,000. 
  • Jail time: A first time DUI conviction is typically no more than 6 months. If the BAC was higher and a minor was in the vehicle it could extend up to 9 months. 
  • License revocation: A license can be revoked for a minimum of 180 days. 

Other penalties may be imposed such as community service, probation, DUI school, and/or impoundment of your vehicle.  

Do I Need an Attorney for DUI? 

A DUI, even as a first-time offender, is very serious. It stays on your permanent record for 75 years in Florida. Having a DUI on your record can potentially affect your employment or housing situations in the future. Having a skilled attorney can help minimize your risk in court and may be able to help keep the arrest off your record. 

Hire an attorney right away as you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to apply for a hardship license or work permit. This is crucial if you feel having your license suspended will adversely affect your job and income. 

Call our Tampa DUI Attorney 

Having a lawyer that is experienced in DUI cases is critical to your case. You need a lawyer that will review all the facts, demand evidence, and work for you to help you get your license back. Whether you refused a blood, urine, or breathalyzer test, or simply misjudged your blood alcohol level and drove home –the team of Stechschulte Nell will fight for you.  

After a DUI arrest, contact us immediately—within 10 days —for a consultation. Call us at 813-280-1244 for a free case review. 

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