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DUI Criminal Defense

Field sobriety exercises are "Divided Attention Tests". The theory is that a person who is impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance is unable to do both physical activities while at the same time remember what the instructions were. The divided attention tests are to see how well you can remember instructions while performing the requested tasks.

The problem with these "tests" is that the validity of them depends on the persons prior ability to do two things at once. The validity of the tests is also  questionable because a person in their 50's who is 60 pounds overweight is supposed to have the same balance as a 24 year old gymnast who is in perfect shape.  As a real life example, when I was in basic training in the army, some of us understood marching and turns better then other trainees. That is why so much time was spent on marching drills. Some people just take more time then others to learn. 

Below is the minimum sentence the law requires if convicted of Drunk Driving. However the sanctions could be higher if your Blood Alcohol Content is over a .15, if there was a minor in the car, or if you were under 21 years old when arrested.

First DUI Conviction

  • Up to 6 Months in County Jail.
  • Fine of at least $500 but no more then $1000.00.
  • 12 months of Probation, including DUI school, community service, alcohol evaluation and treatment, and a victim impact panel.
  • License revocation of 6 months up to one year. (Different 6 months then when arrested and blew over .08 or refused).
  • Vehicle Impound for at least 10 days.
  • If Breath Alcohol results were over .15, ignition interlock device.

Enhanced Penalties for First DUI Conviction if over a .15 blow or if a person under 18 years old was in vehicle.

  • Up to 9 Months in County Jail.
  • Fine of at least $1000 but no more then $2000.00
  • Six month ignition interlock device.
Second DUI Arrest within 5 years of Last DUI Conviction
  • Fine of At least $1000.00 to a maximum of $2000.00
  • Minimum Mandatory Incarceration of 10 days up to 9 months
  • Drivers License Suspension for 5 years. 
  • Car is impounded for a minimum 30 days. 
  • 12 Months probation, DUI School, level 2. 
  • Ignition interlock device for 1 year.

Second DUI Arrest within 5 years of last DUI conviction, with a BAC over a .15 or a minor child in the car.

  • Fine of at least $2000.00 with a maximum of $5000.00
  • Mandatory incarceration of 10 days with a maximum of one year.
  • Two year ignition interlock device. 

Second DUI Arrest outside 5 Years of Last DUI Conviction, below a .15

  • Fine of at least $500 to no more then $1000.00
  • Suspension of Drivers License for 6 months to one year.
  • Probation for 1 year including DUI School, level 2.
  • Minimum Incarceration of 10 days up to 9 months.
  • Car impoundment for minimum 30 days.
  • Ignition interlock device for a minimum of 1 year, if breath results over .20 then interlock device for 2 years.
Third DUI Arrest With in 10 Years of any DUI Conviction. (Felony)
  • A fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000.
  • Incarceration of 30 days to 5 years
  • Your license will be suspended for 10 years
  • Probation for 0 to 5 years
  • Impoundment of vehicle for 90 days
  • Ignition device for at least 2 years
  • May petition for a BPO after 24 months Fine of at Least
Third DUI Arrest Outside 10 Years of all DUI Convictions (Misdemeanor)
  • A fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $2,500
  • Incarceration up to 1 year
  • Your license will be suspended for 5 years
  • Probation for 1 year
  • Ignition device at least 2 years
  • You are not eligible for a BPO

Fourth or subsequent DUI Arrest. (Felony)

  • Any person who is convicted of a fourth or subsequent violation of this section is guilty of a Felony of the Third Degree; the fine imposed for such fourth or subsequent violation may be $1,000 to $5,000.
  • Sentenced under Florida Sentencing Guidelines up to 5 years in Florida State Prison
  • You are not eligible for a BPO or hardship license


Being convicted of a DUI carries many different consequences.

The punishments for being convicted of a DUI include basically three components, Loss of Liberty, Financial Costs, and Treatment.

The "Loss of Freedom" involved in a DUI conviction includes being sentenced to Jail or probation. If you receive probation rather then jail, your liberty will still be curtailed to the extent that you may be prohibited from going to bars or night clubs. You could be prohibited from consuming alcohol, even in your own home. You could have a curfew and you will have to report to your probation officer frequently. If you are sentenced to Jail, your liberty will be curtailed to the extent that you will be incarcerated. If you are sentenced to Jail, you will probably still be ordered to complete probation.

The financial punishments include Fines, Court Costs, Cost of Supervision for Probation, Cost of ignition interlock device (if ordered), cost of DUI school, and cost of Alcohol and/or drug evaluation and treatment. Additionally, there is the increased costs of automobile insurance, and the possibility of a DUI conviction effecting your job or earning ability. There could also be an increase in other insurance costs.

The treatment component includes DUI school and alcohol and/or drug evaluation and any treatment necessary. There is also a victim Impact pannel where the partispants hear from people whose lives have been changed or effected by "drunk drivers".

While the law has certain Minimum sentences for DUIs, there is no requirement that the Judge limit your punishment to the minimums. You could be sentenced to the Maximum sentence allowed by law.That's right, you could be sentenced to JAIL or PRISON for a DUI conviction.