Driving under the influence is a serious offense that sometimes results in jail time in Florida. However, many counties have diversion programs for individuals struggling with substance use disorder.
Review the types of DUI offenses that may carry a Florida jail sentence and possible options in this situation.
Standard DUI conviction
A base DUI charge in Florida results from an arrest with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher. If convicted, an individual can face up to six months in jail for the first offense. A second offense within 10 years carries a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail. For the third offense in a decade, the mandatory minimum rises to 30 days.
Cases involving extenuating circumstances can result in nine to 12 months in jail for a DUI conviction in Florida. Examples include an arrest with a BAC of 0.15% or higher or with an underage passenger. The judge can also order up to 12 months for a second-time breath test refusal. Jail time of up to five years may result when a DUI causes auto accident injury or death.
Some individuals facing a DUI may qualify for one of the Florida DUI court programs. While each county DUI court is different, generally a participant must live in the relevant district, have a pending DUI charge with at least one prior drug or alcohol conviction that does not involve drug trafficking, and willingly enter the court-supervised rehabilitation program.
After successful completion of DUI court and other probation requirements, convicted individuals may qualify for a suspended or dismissed sentence.