Florida DUI Laws

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Florida DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. The threshold is reduced to 0.04% for commercial drivers and to 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21.
Each year, over 10,000 people in the US are killed on the road as a result of drunk driving crashes.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime, and penalties vary by state. Even a first-time offense can cost drivers up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will most certainly impact your car insurance rates, too.
The car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about DUI laws in Florida.
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What is a DUI?

A DUI is considered to driving under the influence, which can mean impairment caused by alcohol, drugs, or both—and the drugs don’t need to be illicit. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines can also lead to a DUI charge if you become impaired as a result of taking them.

DUI in Florida

In Florida, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of:
  • 0.08% or higher if you’re 21 or older
  • 0.04% or higher if you’re driving a commercial vehicle
  • 0.02% if you’re under the age of 21
Key Takeaway There is zero tolerance for minors driving under the influence. Drivers under the age of 21 who are convicted of a DUI will be tried and punished as adults.
Every state has an implied consent law, stipulating that drivers consent to be tested if you’re suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you’re lawfully arrested for a DUI, you must submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. Florida drivers who refuse to do so will be considered persistent drunk drivers—regardless of how many previous offenses were committed. This comes with longer license suspensions and revocations. You do not have a right to consult with a lawyer before completing the test.

Penalties for DUI in Florida

If you are convicted of a DUI in Florida, the conviction will remain on your driving record for 75 years. There are additional fees and penalties for DUIs, which are more severe for all subsequent offenses.

First conviction

Fine$500 to $2000
Jail6 to 9 months
License suspension180 days to 1 year
Vehicle impoundmentYes
SR-22 requirementYes
Ignition Interlock Device RequiredYes
An ignition interlock device is required only if the DUI is aggravated, which means a BAC of 0.15% or higher.
All DUI offenders are required to enroll in a substance abuse course and monthly-reporting probation. The time served in inpatient rehabilitation may be counted in lieu of jail time. The court may also order offenders to enroll in a sobriety monitoring program, with random testing.
Failure to complete any required treatment will result in revocation of the offender’s license.

Subsequent convictions

If you are convicted of a DUI again, you’ll be subject to increased penalties and fees, as well as longer license revocation depending on how much time has passed since the previous conviction. If you’ve had three prior DUIs, any subsequent charge will be a felony instead of misdemeanor.
There are more severe penalties if you cause serious bodily injury or death due to driving under the influence, regardless of how many previous penalties you’ve had.
Key Takeaway Minimum penalties are often increased if you’ve had previous convictions or if you’ve caused bodily harm or death due to driving under the influence.
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Does a DUI impact car insurance in Florida?

Yes. A DUI is considered by insurance companies to be one of the most serious driving violations, and providers will label you a high-risk driver. High-risk drivers end up paying more for insurance, or they may be denied coverage entirely.
There are companies that are willing to take on high-risk drivers—the trick is making sure that you’re getting the coverage you need at a reasonable price. Jerry gathers affordable quotes, helps you switch plans, and will even help you cancel your old policy.
Jerry can help you save money, but you should still expect substantially higher rates compared to what you were paying before. Your insurance company will also need to file an SR-22 in Florida on your behalf to confirm you hold the state-mandated minimum insurance.

Other effects of a DUI

Besides the conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, DUIs can have other lasting implications.
License revocation: After a DUI, you run the risk of having your license revoked if you’re charged with other serious offenses.
Ignition interlock device: All states have some type of ignition interlock program, requiring drivers convicted of a DUI to install an interlock device in their vehicle to disable the engine if alcohol is detected on their breath.
Background checks: A DUI lasts a lifetime on your criminal record, so it will show up on a background check. This can have a negative impact on your future employment endeavors.

How to find cheap insurance after a DUI

Finding insurance is a tedious process with a clean record — but with a DUI, it’s even more so. But regardless of your record, Jerry can help.
If you’re shopping for car insurance, Jerry will generate competitive quotes from top providers in less than a minute. Jerry gathers your information from your past insurer, so you’re not responsible for any long forms or phone calls. Basically, you get all of the savings and coverage, with none of the hassles.
When your policy is up for renewal, Jerry sends you new quotes to compare, so that you’re always saving money—no matter what your record looks like.
“I have a really bad record, so all of my previous insurance quotes were pretty high. I started using Jerry and the fantastic app saved me $130 a month on my insurance.” —Jett A.
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