It is illegal to get behind the wheel of a car when you have had too much to drink. Florida state law imposes penalties including fines, jail time, the immobilization of your vehicle and the temporary loss of your driver’s license if you get convicted of drunk driving.
It is common for those accused of driving under the influence (DUI) to worry mostly about jail time when they consider the consequences of the charges against them. However, the loss of your license can be extremely difficult to manage. It can complicate your daily life, affect your job and increase your household expenses.
What will happen to your driver’s license if you plead guilty to or get convicted of a DUI charge in Florida?
The state will revoke your license
For a first DUI offense that didn’t result in anyone getting hurt, the state will revoke someone’s license for at least 180 days, if not a year. If someone got hurt because of their drunk driving, the revocation period increases to a three-year minimum. Second DUI charges within five years of the first can lead to a five-year revocation. A third offense within 10 years of the second will lead to someone losing their license for a minimum of 10 years.
Those facing long-term revocations can sometimes qualify for a hardship license reinstatement after a specific amount of time. They will likely need to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles to secure a reinstatement. You will have to pay to install the IID and to maintain it. Records of your test performance will potentially impact your efforts to regain full, unrestricted driving privileges. You could also face criminal consequences if you get caught driving a vehicle without an IID.
People do defeat drunk driving charges
No plea deal can fully remove the mandatory license revocation for DUI charges, even if you do find a way to avoid incarceration. While it may seem like a hopeless situation, you absolutely can fight back against DUI charges. There are different strategies that can work depending on the evidence against you and the circumstances leading to your arrest.
Understanding the possible consequences of Florida DUI charges may inspire you to defend yourself in court.