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DUI Frequently Asked Questions in Florida

Find Answers to Your Questions From Our Knowledgeable Jacksonville DUI Lawyers

Most people who are arrested for or charged with driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol (DUI) in the state of Florida have a number of questions and concerns. At First Coast Criminal Defense, we understand that you need answers. Take a look at our DUI frequently asked questions in Florida to learn more about your rights, your options, and what to expect from the DUI process in Florida.

Need a DUI defense attorney in Jacksonville? Contact First Coast Criminal Defense at (904) 474-3115 for a free consultation. We serve Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties. 

What is the Legal Limit for Alcohol?

In the state of Florida, the legal limit for alcohol in a person’s system is .08% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). This legal limit also applies to drivers who hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) and those under 21 years of age.

For commercial drivers, the legal BAC limit is set at .04%. A conviction for driving with a BAC above this level could result in multiple penalties: suspension or revocation of both their CDL and personal driver’s license, installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle, and potential jail time.

Those under 21 years of age are subject to Zero Tolerance laws including a zero-tolerance policy for operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of at least .02%. The penalties for being found guilty of violating this policy can include suspension or revocation of their license, fines, and other consequences.

What Is BAC?

BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, is a measure of the amount of alcohol present in someone's bloodstream. It can be used to determine how long it is safe for someone to operate a motor vehicle. In Florida, BAC must stay below 0.08% in order to lawfully drive; if BAC is above that limit, they are considered intoxicated and may face serious charges due to their actions behind the wheel.

Read More About BAC

What Is an Administrative License Hearing?

The Florida DHSMV allows you to request a formal or informal hearing to challenge your driver’s license suspension after a DUI arrest. It is crucial that you act quickly if you wish to challenge the automatic suspension of your driver’s license, as you only have 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest/citation to do so.

Your request for an informal or formal license suspension hearing must be made in writing and must include the following information:

  • Your name, birth date, driver’s license number, and address
  • The date that you received notice of your driver’s license suspension
  • The county where you received notice of your driver’s license suspension

This request must then be filed with the proper county clerk within 10 calendar days.

If you request an informal hearing, you will be allowed to submit materials supporting your belief that your driver’s license should not be suspended. The hearing officer will weigh these materials against evidence provided by the arresting officer and will decide on whether or not to uphold your driver’s license suspension or reinstate your driving privileges.

In a formal hearing, however, you (and/or your attorney) are permitted to provide testimony, including witness testimony, and other evidence to support your position. Though it is separate from the criminal DUI process, a formal license suspension hearing can be helpful for gathering evidence that may also be useful in your criminal DUI trial.

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