The Impact of a DUI: Legal and Collateral

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime in Florida. This offense is recognized by the law as operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs that impair cognitive and motor functions. This crime not only endangers the driver but also poses a significant risk to public safety, potentially resulting in tragic accidents.

The consequences of a DUI extend beyond the courtroom. They can affect various facets of your life, including your ability to secure employment, the cost of your insurance, and your social standing. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Florida, it is essential to work with a DUI/DWI defense lawyer in Riverview, who can advocate for your rights and protect your future.

Riverview DUI attorney

Jail Time and Fines

The legal system imposes strict penalties on those convicted of DUI, particularly fines and jail time. Penalties typically begin with fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 and can include jail time from a day to six months for a first offense. Note that if you are going through your first DUI offense, contact our first time DUI lawyers in Riverview to help fight for your rights.

These DUI consequences in Florida escalate with each subsequent offense or if certain aggravating factors are present, such as having a minor in the vehicle or an exceptionally high blood alcohol content (BAC):

  • First offense with a minor in the vehicle or a BAC of 0.15%: Fines of $1,000 to $2,000, and one day to nine months in jail
  • Second offense within five years: $1,000 to $2,000 in fines and 10 days to nine months in jail
  • Second offense within five years with a minor in the vehicle or a BAC of 0.15%: $2,000 to $4,000 in fines and 10 days to 12 months in jail
  • Second offense outside of five years: $1,000 to $2,000 in fines and one day to nine months in jail
  • Second offense outside of five years with a minor in the vehicle or a BAC of 0.15%: $2,000 to $4,000 in fines and one day to 12 months in jail
  • Third offense within 10 years of prior conviction: $1,000 to $5,000 in fines and 30 days to 12 months in jail
  • Third offense within 10 years of prior conviction with a minor in the vehicle or a BAC of 0.15%: $4,000 to $5,000 in fines and 30 days to 12 months in jail
  • Fourth offense or greater: $2,000 to $5,000 in fines and one day to five years in jail
  • Fourth offense or greater — with a minor in the vehicle or a BAC of 0.15%: $2,000 to $5,000 in fines and one day to five years in jail


Probation is another common repercussion for DUI offenders. After they serve their jail sentences, they are released into the community under strict conditions. These often include mandatory attendance at alcohol education programs, regular drug and alcohol testing, and sometimes curfew restrictions.

For most offenses, the probation may last for up to one year. However, those convicted of a fourth DUI or greater will face a five-year probation period. This extended probation significantly restricts the accused’s freedom.

License Revocation

Losing the privilege to drive is one of the most immediate and impactful consequences of a DUI. The revocation period depends on the number of offenses and specific circumstances surrounding each case. For a first offense, the driver’s license can be revoked for 180 days to one year

This period increases with subsequent offenses, especially if they are committed within a short time frame or under aggravated circumstances. For example, someone convicted of a second offense within five years can have their license revoked for five years. A third offense within 10 years of a prior conviction may result in a 10-year revocation.

For fourth offenses or greater, those convicted can face the permanent loss of their driving privileges. This can alter a person’s personal and professional life dramatically. They may need to make major adjustments to their daily routines and may struggle to find an accessible job

Vehicle Impoundment or Immobilization

In addition to revoking driving privileges, a person convicted of a DUI may have their vehicle immobilized or impounded. This measure is intended to prevent further unlawful behavior by temporarily removing access to the vehicle involved in the DUI incident.

For a first DUI offense, the vehicle may be impounded or immobilized for a period of 10 days. The duration of impoundment, like other DUI penalties, increases with subsequent offenses. For example, a second DUI offense within five years results in a 30-day impoundment. For those facing a third DUI offense within a decade, the vehicle impoundment extends to a significant 90 days.

Installation of Ignition Interlock Device

Following certain DUI convictions, the court may mandate the installation of an ignition interlock device on the vehicle. This device requires the driver to perform a breathalyzer test before the engine starts, ensuring that they are not under the influence of alcohol.

For first-time offenders, the installation of an IID is not generally required unless a minor was in the vehicle or their BAC was 0.15 percent or higher; in this case, the requirement is for six months. The requirement becomes more stringent with repeated offenses:

  • For a second DUI offense within five years, an IID must be installed for a minimum of one year.
  • For third-time offenders within a ten-year period, the mandatory period for an IID jumps to a minimum of two years.
  • Those who reach a fourth offense are required to install the IID for a minimum of five years.

Community Service Requirements

Community service is another penalty that may be imposed following a DUI conviction. If a person is convicted of their first DUI, they will be required to complete 50 hours of community service. Alternatively, they may choose to pay an additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required

However, community service is required for first-time offenders who had a child in the vehicle or a BAC of 0.15% at the time of their arrest. For second or subsequent convictions, state law does not mandate community service, but this penalty may be imposed based on the court’s discretion.

Mandatory Substance Abuse Counseling

Following a DUI conviction, offenders may be required to undergo substance abuse counseling. This counseling serves both as a rehabilitative measure and a preventative strategy to reduce the risk of future offenses. The court will impose this penalty if they believe that it is in the best interest of the offender.

All offenders are required to attend DUI school. These educational programs aim to promote safer driving by educating offenders on the dangers of impaired driving. Participants also learn hands-on strategies to avoid DUIs in the future.

Difficulty Finding Employment

A DUI conviction can hinder a person’s ability to find employment. Many employers conduct background checks that reveal DUI convictions, which may lead them to question an applicant’s reliability and decision-making skills. In industries where driving is an essential part of the job, such as in transportation or delivery services, people convicted of a DUI may be unable to obtain a job entirely

Furthermore, a DUI can lead to the loss of professional licenses or prevent their issuance in fields such as law, medicine, and education. What might initially seem like a one-time mistake can turn into a long-term barrier to professional opportunities.

Challenges with Personal Relationships

A DUI arrest and subsequent conviction can also strain personal relationships. Family and friends may feel betrayed or concerned about the behavior that led to the DUI. They may no longer trust the offender’s ability to make safe and responsible decisions, which can lead to increased tension and frequent conflicts.

The stress of dealing with legal repercussions—such as court dates, fines, and mandatory counseling—can further strain relationships. Additionally, the stigma associated with a DUI conviction can lead to social isolation, as offenders may feel judged or embarrassed by their situation. This can result in significant emotional distress and may require effort and communication to rebuild their personal relationships.

Increases in Insurance Premiums

One of the immediate repercussions of a DUI conviction is a sharp increase in car insurance premiums. Insurance companies evaluate each driver’s risk level and adjust their rates accordingly. A DUI conviction categorizes a policyholder as a high-risk driver, which leads to significantly higher insurance costs—sometimes even double or triple the previous rate.

In addition to higher regular premiums, those convicted of a DUI in Florida must carry higher levels of liability insurance. Offenders must provide proof of bodily injury liability coverage of at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence, along with $50,000 for property damage. This coverage is typically more expensive than standard policies, which can increase the financial strain.

Florida Statute § 324.023: Financial responsibility for bodily injury or death.

In addition to any other financial responsibility required by law, every owner or operator of a motor vehicle that is required to be registered in this state, or that is located within this state, and who, regardless of adjudication of guilt, has been found guilty of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of driving under the influence under s. 316.193 after October 1, 2007, shall, by one of the methods established in s. 324.031(1) or (2), establish and maintain the ability to respond in damages for liability on account of accidents arising out of the use of a motor vehicle in the amount of $100,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, one person in any one crash and, subject to such limits for one person, in the amount of $300,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, two or more persons in any one crash and in the amount of $50,000 because of property damage in any one crash.

Difficulty Obtaining Housing

A DUI conviction can also complicate a person’s ability to secure housing. Landlords commonly perform background checks on potential tenants, which include looking for any criminal records. A DUI conviction can be a red flag to landlords, who may perceive it as a sign of unreliability or potential liability.

This housing barrier can make it extremely difficult to rent apartments or homes in competitive rental markets where landlords have numerous applicants to choose from. Those with a DUI on their record may find themselves repeatedly denied, forcing them to seek housing in less desirable areas or under less favorable rental terms.

Challenges with Securing Loans

Obtaining financial loans can become more difficult with a DUI conviction on a person’s record. Financial institutions scrutinize an applicant’s background before approving loans for cars, homes, or personal loans. A DUI conviction can skew this assessment, leading to higher interest rates or outright denial.

The consequences are particularly severe if an applicant seeks substantial loans such as mortgages. The combination of increased insurance premiums and potential income loss after a DUI can also affect a person’s credit score, which further diminishes loan eligibility. This can delay or even derail significant life plans, such as buying a home or investing in higher education.

Protect Your Future—Contact a DUI Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Florida, it is crucial to seek legal representation immediately. The legal and collateral impacts of a DUI conviction can be significant, affecting your freedom, finances, and future. A Florida DUI defense lawyer can offer strategic advice and robust representation during this challenging time, helping you challenge the charges against you or work to mitigate the potential penalties.

Your attorney will thoroughly review the circumstances of your arrest, challenge any procedural mistakes or test inaccuracies, and argue for your rights at every turn. They will also handle all interactions with prosecutors and represent you in court, ensuring that your case is presented effectively and professionally

Beyond legal representation, a DUI lawyer helps manage the impact of a DUI on your life, advising on issues like license suspension, insurance increases, and potential employment consequences. Their expertise can help protect not only your legal rights but also your future opportunities and financial stability.

After your arrest, remember to remain silent and comply with officers’ requests. As soon as you are able, request to speak with a Riverview criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will advise you on the optimal course of action and help you take your first steps toward defending your rights.