If you drink alcohol and you drive there is a far greater chance of you causing injury to yourself, your passengers and others. Florida has a law known as the “Implied Consent Law” which means that when you sign your driver’s license you agree to take Blood or Breath alcohol tests upon request. If you refuse your license will be suspended for one year and if you refuse twice it will be suspended for 18 months.
Under Florida law, driving under the influence or DUI is an offence if the breath or blood alcohol level is .08% or above. In either case, the penalties are the same.
Firstly there is a fine, which is not less than $500, or more than $1,000 for the first conviction. If the Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) is .15 or higher or if there is a minor in the vehicle, the fine increases to not less than $1,000 but not more than $2,000.
For a second conviction the fines are doubled and for a third and fourth conviction they are increased yet again.
In addition to a fine, at the discretion of the court, there may also be a time of imprisonment although they may ask that the sentence be served in a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, rather than a normal prison.
For the first conviction the term is not more than 6 months although if the BAL is .15 or higher or there is a minor in the vehicle, it increases to not more than 9 months. For the second conviction these terms are increased by three months, but if the second conviction is within five years then imprisonment of at least 10 days is mandatory and this increases to 30 days for a third conviction within 10 years.
In addition to a fine and imprisonment, depending on the nature of the offence, you may be asked to carry out community service and your vehicle may be impounded.