What Are the Florida DUI Laws?

Florida, like many other states, has strict DUI laws and penalties upon conviction. DUI is measured by how much alcohol is in your bloodstream. This blood alcohol content (BAC) is the amount of alcohol present in your system and is measured with a blood, urine, or breath test. In Florida you are required to submit to this testing, if requested, via the implied consent law. As a driver in Florida you are agreeing to submit to testing as part of obtaining your license. Florida DUI laws and penalties have been increased over the years. If convicted of DUI in Florida you may be facing fines, a prison term, and possible driver’s license suspension or revocation.


Your BAC will depend on a number of factors including your weight, your genetics, your recent food consumption, your gender, and overall health. The amount of alcohol that you can consume to stay under the legal limit varies but generally depends on the type of alcohol that you’re consuming and the timeframe during which you’re drinking it. For example, drinking a single lite beer in an hour will typically not make you legally drunk, however, drinking a strong mixed drink in the same amount of time may. You can’t count on calculating your legal status while you’re drinking, especially because as you drink your thinking becomes impaired.

DUI Arrest

Several things will happen when you are arrested for DUI. You may have been stopped for a traffic violation and the police officer may suspect that you have been drinking. You may be asked to participate in some field sobriety tests. These tests may include such things as reciting the alphabet, walking a straight line, standing on one leg, or following a light with your eyes. These types of tests are simply to provide some support to the officer in determining whether you are drunk. If you are thought to have been drinking you’ll be arrested and charged with DUI, along with any other traffic violations. Not all DUI arrests are performed properly. You should consult with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.

Keeping Your Driver’s License

Upon an arrest for DUI you may be required to forfeit your driver’s license. Your driving privileges will be suspended until the outcome of your court case. If you act quickly, you can often keep your license, at least temporarily. You, or your lawyer, must request a hearing with the DMV within ten days of your arrest. The hearing, separate from your court case, is used to decide your immediate driving authorization. For example, if you need to drive to and from your job you may be allowed to drive only during certain hours. These terms will continue until your court case, at which time the outcome will determine what will happen to your license permanently. DUI attorneys are skilled at making a case to keep your license under these circumstances. Your lawyer will represent you at this initial hearing as well as throughout your case to get the best possible outcome. The potential penalties increase for those who have had previous DUI convictions or when there was an accident with injuries. Your lawyer will work with you to ensure that a strong defense is presented.