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What can happen if you're convicted of a DUI in Florida?

The facts about DUIs in Florida can sometimes be murky. Normally, info is passed between friends or family who are basing their information on something they heard from a third party, saw on TV or read on the Internet. If you find yourself pulled over or arrested for suspicion of a DUI, it's best to have your facts straight rather than relying on hearsay.

First, let's look at some of the stats for drunk driving in Florida. In 2011, the Florida DMV's records indicate that 55,772 tickets were issued for DUIs. In that same year, 33,625 convictions were handed down for DUI. Of the largest counties in Florida, Hillsborough County had the most convictions in the state with 3,256, with Miami-Dade in second with 2,274. Broward County came in eighth with 985.

Now, here are some basic facts that every driver in Florida should know:

  • The Sunshine State has what's called "Implied Consent Law." This means that by signing your driver's license you're agreeing to submit to sobriety tests -- which can include breath, blood or urine tests. If you refuse, your license is automatically suspended for one year. If you refuse a second time, you're looking a suspension of 18 months. 
  • Second DUI convictions land you with an ignition interlock -- a system installed in your vehicle that forces you to breathe into a device to start the car. You are also responsible for paying for the installation and a monthly calibration. 
  • Florida's legal limit is 0.08 for those 21 years of age or older. For those under the age of 21, it's 0.02.

If you're facing charges of operating under the influence, you may want to consider speaking with an attorney.

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