It is my opinion that Florida is one of the tougher states when it comes to DUI penalties.
However, according to the website wallethub.com. Florida ranks number 17 overall and number 24 when it comes to the severity of DUI sentences.
For a first DUI, Florida does not require mandatory jail time. However, a first DUI will carry a mandatory conviction (adjudication), six months of probation, a driver's license suspension, DUI school, 50 community service hours, a $500 fine, a 10-day vehicle immobilization (at your expense), and a session of the Victim Impact Panel. This, in addition to hundreds of dollars in court costs and the strong possibility of either being dropped by your auto insurance company or finding that your premiums have gone up 300%.
For second and third DUIs, penalties are much tougher and may include jail time.
It is hard to believe that 23 other states have tougher DUI penalties that Florida does.
According to wallethub.com, Arizona has the toughest DUI penalties, while South Dakota has the most lenient.
While mandatory jail time is not a condition of a first DUI sentence, the judge can sentence you up to 180 days in jail for your first DUI.
Eric Matheny is a DUI lawyer serving clients in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach