Florida is determined to discourage drinking and driving with harsh penalties for DUI convictions. All drunk driving convictions carry both administrative and criminal consequences ranging from suspension of your driver’s license to jail time, even at the misdemeanor level. A Florida Felony DUI conviction will have longer-lasting consequences.
You can be charged with a Florida Felony DUI under the following circumstances:
- Third DUI conviction in 10 years
- Fourth DUI conviction period
- DUI Manslaughter conviction
Some of the penalties for a Florida felony DUI and DUI manslaughter convictions include permanently revoking your license, fines up to $10,000, and up to 30 years’ imprisonment. You may qualify for a hardship driver’s license after 5 years if your felony DUI did not result in a fatality. You will probably also have to complete alcohol safety courses through the state, as well as community service or other conditions of probation, such as an ignition interlock requirement.
Florida ignition interlock devices are required for all felony, as well as many misdemeanor drunk driving convictions.
A DUI conviction, whether it be a misdemeanor or felony, will appear on your criminal record. For the rest of your life, it will reflect badly on you when you apply for jobs, try to purchase or rent a home, or any time a background check on you is required. But, the penalties associated with the Florida felony DUI will make your earlier misdemeanors pale in comparison.
Florida is serious about reducing the number of drivers on the road under the influence and will discourage it by using the full force of the law on those who are caught. You are never safe to drink and drive. When you get behind the wheel under the influence, you are not only endangering yourself, you’re endangering everyone on the road.