Florida DUI Laws

Under Florida DUI laws, a DUI stays on your record for a minimum of 75 years, and first-time offenders receive up to 9 months in jail and fines from $500 to $2,000.

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UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 2, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • The statistics of DUI-related crashes and arrests are staggeringly high in Florida
  • Florida law is very strict regarding DUI cases
  • The penalties are steep for DUI convictions
  • Besides the financial cost, there is a high cost to your reputation and to your family that results from a DUI conviction

Florida is known for being a vacation spot. Beware of miscalculated partying that may lead to drinking and driving. Florida DUI laws are there to protect the people in the area. If you find yourself with a DUI, you should expect your car insurance rates to increase!

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The Sunshine State of Florida is a beautiful place to live and drive around all year long. Endless beaches along two coastlines provide relief from the hot and muggy summers while the winters are a haven and refuge from the cold northern states.

Comparing car insurance to find the best car insurance policies and rates is of utmost importance in the state of Florida.

Both drivers with clean records and drivers with traffic violations and DUI offenses can benefit from comparison insurance shopping so that the right policy is provided at the right price.

Consider these statistics, laws and penalties for being convicted while driving under the influence of alcohol in the state of Florida.

Know the laws and the availability of automobile insurance related to DUI’s. Shop around for the best auto insurance prices on the Internet. Our comparison tool is here to help you save and find the best car insurance company for your insurance!

Florida DUI Statistics

These raw numbers from the 2014 databases from the state of Florida and MADD are frightening and a challenge for law enforcement and the legal system to keep up with in Florida:

  • 849 – the number of suspected alcohol-impaired driving fatalities
  • 11,210 –the number of suspected alcohol-impaired driving injuries from crashes
  • 16,873 – the number of suspected alcohol-involved crashes
  • 40,677 – the number of DUI arrests for all ages
  • 11,681 – the number of fifth-time DUI offenders arrested
  • 3.5 billion – the number of dollars from taxpayers’ dollars that went toward DUI fatalities

Even though the number of DUI related arrests and crashes is astonishing, the trend over the past several years has been decreasing. This leads to the conclusion that Florida’s strict DUI laws are working.

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Florida DUI Laws

The state of Florida has stringent DUI laws, particularly for drivers under the age of 21. Here is a summary of how seriously Florida takes driving under the influence:

  • For drivers under the age of 21, the blood alcohol level limit is .02.
  • The implied consent law requires breath, urine and blood tests if pulled over.
  • Second offenders must install an ignition lock on their vehicles.

One drink is sufficient to produce a blood alcohol level of .02. Florida is serious about preventing young drivers from drinking.

The blood alcohol level for drivers over the age of 21 is the nationally adopted standard of .08.

Stay away from drunk driving. Drunk driving will affect your car insurance rates!

What are the Penalties for a DUI in Florida?

Various factors contribute to the penalties for breaking the DUI laws including:

  • Age of the driver
  • The driver’s previous driving record
  • The reason(s) the driver was pulled over including traffic offenses

What is the Penalty for a First-Time DUI in Florida?

The following are the penalties under Florida law for first offense DUI:

  • Jail time up to 6 months for a blood alcohol level over .08
  • Jail time up to 9 months for a blood alcohol level over .15
  • Fine from $500 – $1000 for a blood alcohol level over .08
  • Fine from $1000 – $2000 for a blood alcohol level over .15 or for over .08 which a minor is in the vehicle
  • Impoundment of vehicle for 10 days
  • Driver’s license suspended 180 days up to one year
  • Probation up to one year
  • DUI school or substance abuse treatment program

The zero tolerance law for drivers under 21 commands an automatic 6-month suspension for first-time offenders and a one-year suspension for a second offense.

A DUI stays on your driver’s record in Florida for a minimum of 75 years, and up to a lifetime. Needless to say, no one wants to risk getting a DUI in the state of Florida.

Florida DUI Law Additional Ramifications

Both a DUI first and second offenses are misdemeanors. A third DUI offense and subsequent offenses are considered a third-degree felony.

Felony convictions impede future job opportunities, creating significant liabilities in one’s quality of life.

Multiple convictions may result in the suspension of all driving privileges indefinitely and over the course of a lifetime.

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Florida DUI Insurance Options

The effect on a driver’s insurance rates and policy vary depending upon the following factors:

  1. The driver’s age
  2. The existence of other drivers on the policy
  3. The length of time the policy has been in effect
  4. The presence of other products the driver maintains with the insurance company
  5. The driver’s record of previous violations
  6. The number, age, and type of vehicles insured
  7. The coverage levels maintained

Automobile insurance prices vary substantially based upon the previous factors. It is imperative to shop around for price comparisons on the Internet to find the online car insurance policies that provide the best coverage at the best prices. Our ZIP code search does this for you!

Typically a DUI conviction will increase a driver’s rates for car insurance. When a driver is shopping for automobile insurance inquiries should be made as to what a company does with DUI convictions, accidents, and other incidents.

Car insurance companies may not automatically learn of the DUI offense. A conscientious driver will report the offense. The driver may become labeled a high-risk driver as a result.

In some cases, an insurance company may drop the driver altogether or refuse to renew the policy at its renewal date.

Sometimes the company drives up the rates so high that the driver has no choice but to find another policy. In some cases, it might be impossible to find new auto insurance.

When a new policy is being sought, drivers should be up front about previous DUI convictions. The Florida DMV will require proof of insurance when buying plates for a new vehicle.

Online insurance companies provide templates with which to apply for online quotes. Such templates incorporate special issues such as DUI convictions and stipulations born from revoked or suspended licenses.

Florida Driver’s License Reinstatement After DUI Offenses

In order to reinstate a Florida’s driver’s license after a first offense DUI conviction a driver must:

  • Complete jail sentence
  • Pay all fines
  • Complete DUI or substance abuse school
  • Serve all community service
  • Apply for a new license during or immediately after the revocation/suspension period
  • Show proof of automobile insurance

In addition, currently the state of Florida charges the following fees to reinstate a driver’s license after a DUI incident:

  • New license fee of $48 ($75 for a commercial license)
  • Administrative fee of $130 for an alcohol (or drug) related offense including a DUI
  • Revoked license fee of $75
  • Suspended license fee of $45
  • DUI program fee of $15

Reinstating a driver’s license after a second DUI offense within five years of the first offense will require a revocation period of five years. That means a driver would be without a license for five years from the date of the second offense.

Third and subsequent DUI offenses require a ten year waiting period. Some drivers never learn their lesson. A DUI manslaughter conviction will strip the driver of his or her driver’s license permanently.

However, a hardship application allowing the operator of a vehicle to drive to work or to obtain “the necessities of life” such as food or clothing is possible.

A DUI manslaughter conviction with the combination of a previous DUI conviction means the license is permanently revoked with no possibility for hardship application.

Florida Reinstatement of a Commercial Driver’s License After a DUI Offense

A one-year revocation period prevents any driving. No hardship provision is allowed. After one-year application may be made for a new license including all necessary fees mentioned above, in addition to the $75 disqualification fee.

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Florida DUI Information on Intangible Costs

The financial cost of drinking and driving can be devastating. In addition, the humiliation to one’s career and the embarrassment to one’s family, neighbors and friends create unbearable hardships for everyone concerned.

That’s why it is vital to drive safely and comparison shop on the Internet for the right insurance.

Florida participates in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign by playing ads on local radio stations. Florida residents are encouraged to drive safely and to refrain from drinking and driving.

Florida is a lovely place to drive for both residents and tourists as long as the roads are kept safe by smart drivers.

Compare car insurance after a DUI with our FREE comparison tool, and we will help you find affordable car insurance. Enter your ZIP code below now!

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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