DUI Defense

In Florida, driving under the influence or DUI is committed when a person:

1. Drives a vehicle OR is found to be in actual physical control of a vehicle within the state of Florida

2. And the person is either:

a. Under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any chemical or controlled substance, when affected to the extent that the person's normal faculties are impaired OR

b. Has a breath alcohol level of .08 or higher OR

c. Has a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.

What does 'actual physical control' mean?

According to Florida statute, this means a person must be physically in the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, i.e., being asleep in a vehicle but in possession of the keys would qualify as actual physical control. You may also be charged with DUI on a motorcycle, bicycle or even a golf cart and the same test would apply.

DUI Penalties

Criminal penalties increase based on the number of DUI convictions; the severity of your current DUI offense, including whether or not there was an accident and/or an accident with injuries; and the length of time since the last DUI conviction.

In addition to the DUI case, you will be subject to administrative penalties by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

In addition to the tables below, you may be subject to complete:

  • 50 hours community service
  • DUI counter-attack class
  • Victims Awareness Program
  • Substance abuse evaluation (and treatment, if recommended)

Also, although in some instances you may be eligible for a hardship ("Business Purposes Only") license, there may be a waiting period in which you are ineligible and completely prohibited from driving.


A person charged with DUI who has refused to submit to testing and/or who has submitted to testing but is found to have an unlawful blood alcohol level or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher will have his or her driver's license suspended.

What happens next when law enforcement suspends the driving privilege?

If you are issued a ticket for DUI, this will act as a 10-day temporary permit provided that you are otherwise eligible to drive. Your driving privileges will expire at midnight on the 10 th day from the date of your ticket or notice of suspension .

What are Formal Review Hearings and how can I get one?

You are entitled to a Formal Review Hearing with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles if you request one. Your case will be heard by a hearing officer who will determine based upon the evidence whether or not your driving privilege suspension will be upheld. In order to secure a hearing, you must complete an application form and submit it within 10 days from the date of your arrest. The right to request a Formal Review Hearing expires at midnight of the 10 th day following your arrest or the date of issuance of the notice of suspension .

Free DUI Consultation At Johnson & Montas P.A.

Call 321-307-2048 or fill out our contact form to schedule an attorney consultation. We offer phone and jail consultations.