Florida drivers face some of the most severe penalties for being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. In fact, the state boasts one of the highest conviction rates for DUI in the nation.

Florida police are specially trained to identify and catch drivers they believe are under the influence of alcohol. They use a variety of tactics to find and punish anyone who is getting behind the wheel with alcohol in their system above the legal limit of .08 including random DUI checkpoints.

Florida law is very clear about who can be prosecuted under their strict DUI laws and legislators have gone to great lengths to make it easy for prosecutors to convict anyone police suspect of being under the influence of alcohol while driving.

Your best plan is to arrange a safe and sober ride home if you are planning on partying in the Sunshine State.

Driving Under the Influence

A driver can violate Florida’s DUI laws by driving or being “in actual physical control” of a vehicle while either:
-Having a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent of higher, also known as “DUI per se,” or
-Having his or her “normal faculties” impaired by alcohol or any chemical substance

Potential Penalties

The potential penalties that a person faces for a first DUI conviction in Florida can be severe:
-Jail: A person convicted of a first DUI offense in Florida faces up to six months in jail. The potential jail time increases to nine months if the driver’s B.A.C. was higher than 0.15 or if a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the offense. However, a judge may order the person to serve the time in a residential alcohol or drug treatment facility rather than in jail.
-Probation: In addition to possible jail time, a person can receive a probation term. The total jail and probation period for a first offense cannot exceed one year.
-Fines: The fines for a first DUI conviction range from $500 to $1,000. If the driver had a BAC higher than 0.15 percent or there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of the offense, the potential fines increase from $1,000 to $2,000.
-Community service: Those convicted of DUI must serve 50 hours of community service, or pay an additional fine of $10 per hour of community service ordered.
-Driver’s license revocation: A person convicted of a DUI loses his or her driver’s license for at least 180 days and possibly for as long as a year.
-Vehicle impounding: The police will impound a driver’s vehicle for 10 days if the driver is convicted of DUI.