120 S. Olive Ave., Suite 402
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Florida DUI and Enhancement Laws

1Florida DUI Statute section 316.193, Driving Under the Influence and its Penalties:

(1) A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment as provided in subsection (2) if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and:
(a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired;
(b) The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or
(c) The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

(2)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), subsection (3), or subsection (4), any person who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) shall be punished:

1. By a fine of:

  • Not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for a first conviction.
  • Not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 for a second conviction; and

2. By imprisonment for:

  • Not more than 6 months for a first conviction.
  • Not more than 9 months for a second conviction.

3. For a second conviction, by mandatory placement for a period of at least 1 year, at the convicted person’s sole expense, of an ignition interlock device approved by the department in accordance with s. 316.1938 upon all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the convicted person, when the convicted person qualifies for a permanent or restricted license. The installation of such device may not occur before July 1, 2003.

(b) 1. Any person who is convicted of a third violation of this section for an offense that occurs within 10 years after a prior conviction for a violation of this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. In addition, the court shall order the mandatory placement for a period of not less than 2 years, at the convicted person’s sole expense, of an ignition interlock device approved by the department in accordance with s. 316.1938 upon all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the convicted person, when the convicted person qualifies for a permanent or restricted license. The installation of such device may not occur before July 1, 2003.
2. Any person who is convicted of a third violation of this section for an offense that occurs more than 10 years after the date of a prior conviction for a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $2,000 or more than $5,000 and by imprisonment for not more than 12 months. In addition, the court shall order the mandatory placement for a period of at least 2 years, at the convicted person’s sole expense, of an ignition interlock device approved by the department in accordance with s. 316.1938 upon all vehicles that are individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated by the convicted person, when the convicted person qualifies for a permanent or restricted license. The installation of such device may not occur before July 1, 2003.
3. Any person who is convicted of a fourth or subsequent violation of this section, regardless of when any prior conviction for a violation of this section occurred, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083 or s. 775.084. However, the fine imposed for such fourth or subsequent violation may be not less than $2,000. The prior was taken directly from Florida General Statute s. 316.193 and applicable sections thereof.

Furthermore, many Florida drivers are arrested for DUI. Many Florida drivers are again arrested under the recidivist chapter of the DUI laws or enhancement portion of the statute. Many practicing criminal defense lawyers and most drivers do not understand how the enhancement parts of the DUI Statute work. The reason for this confusion is that most overlook the word “conviction” or fail to understand what it means. West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer, Andrew D. Stine, will explain how to compute the time under the enhancement parts of the Florida DUI laws.

Under Florida Law and according to the Appellate court’s interpretation of the term “conviction,” as found in the DUI Statutes and elsewhere throughout the Florida criminal punishment code; conviction means “when the court pronounces sentence.”  Under Florida Law, the time for a DUI begins to tick as soon as the court imposes sentence on the defendant, whether or not adjudication is pronounced or withheld. Imposition of sentence means in fact, the time of conviction in Florida.

Florida Law also uses the same formula for deciding when the clock begins to run and, when the clock ends, for out of State DUI convictions, if the out of state conviction is a qualifying DUI for the purpose of the Florida DUI enhancements. Again, the out of state conviction date is the date the court pronounced sentence. If the new DUI arrest is within five (5) years from the date of the trial court’s pronounced sentence on the prior DUI, the driver will likely have their sentence enhanced as pursuant to the statute. The converse is true for the driver who picks up his or her DUI outside of five (5) years from the date the trial court pronounced sentence on the previous DUI will not enhance the sentence by law under the enhancement portion of the Florida DUI Statute.

As an example, if a driver gets a DUI and pleads guilty or is found guilty and is sentenced by the trial court on April 1, 2009, then any time after April 2, 2014 the driver cannot have his sentence enhanced under the Florida DUI Statute, as the time is outside of 5 years from the date of the prior conviction. This is true whether or a not an appeal was filed on the April 1, 2009 DUI conviction and the opinion was later in time affirmed. The magic clock for DUI convictions in Florida starts at the time the trial court pronounces sentence!

The same holds true under Florida DUI Law for the enhancement portion of the DUI laws that is used to calculate the Third DUI conviction within Ten (10) years of the last DUI conviction. The last DUI for the purpose of this part of the DUI enhancement statute, 3 within 10, again begins to run from the time the trial court last pronounced sentence on the driver’s most recent DUI.

If you or a loved one were arrested for DUI in Palm Beach County and have questions or concerns about the possibility of enhancement or a longer harsher sentence, then call the law office of Andrew D. Stine for your free immediate consultation. Florida DUI Laws are very complex, and, if convicted, the driver faces many setbacks like loss of liberty, loss of driving privileges, insurance premium rate increase, fines, court costs and possible employment loss. West Palm Beach DUI Lawyer, Andrew D. Stine, has been fighting DUI’s for Florida drivers for over a decade. Whether you were arrested in Palm Beach, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Wellington, West Palm Beach, Lantana, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Del Ray Beach, Boca Raton or anywhere else throughout the Palm Beach area for DUI: call Stine and save your driver’s license time.

Share this Article

This entry was posted in DUI / Drunk Driving, Florida Criminal Statutes, and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *