What constitutes the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in Florida is dependent on certain characteristics of the driver. For drivers under 21 (the legal age that one may consume alcohol), the BAC limit is .02%. For individuals 21 and over, the limit is .08%. For individuals operating a commercial vehicle, the legal limit is half the normal limit, or .04%.
Individuals found in excess of the above limits will be charged with criminal DUI. Sentencing guidelines in Florida vary based on the percent above the legal BAC, as well as the number of previous DUIs that individual has been convicted of.
For an individual over the age of 21 operating a private vehicle, a first DUI involving a BAC between .08% and .15% warrants a maximum penalty of $1,000 and 6 months in jail. A finding of .15% BAC or above carries a maximum penalty of 9 months in jail and a $2,000 fine.
For that same individual’s second DUI, the maximum penalty for a BAC below .15% is 9 months in jail and a $2,000 fine. A BAC above .15% warrants a maximum yearlong stint in jail and a $4,000 fine. If the second DUI conviction occurs within five years of the first, the individual will also receive a suspension of their driver’s license for five years.
In addition to the above Florida sentencing guidelines, those convicted of DUI may receive other court-mandated penalties such as license suspensions, mandatory treatment or community service, and ignition interlock devices. Penalties increase with each subsequent DUI conviction.
Posted in: DUI