Is Drunk Driving a Felony in Florida?

The data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) underscores the alarming reality that impaired driving accounts for about 30% of all motor-vehicle fatalities in the U.S. While these numbers are gradually decreasing, drunk driving remains a significant issue, particularly in Florida, which has the highest rate of alcohol-related traffic deaths among states. The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida are stringent, even for first-time offenders. Let’s delve into the details.

DUI Penalties in Florida

Is Drunk Driving a Crime in Florida?

Yes, drunk driving is considered a crime in Florida, and the state imposes severe penalties for DUI offenses.

When Does DUI Become a Felony in Florida?

Several situations elevate DUI to a felony in Florida:

Third DUI in Ten Years:

  • A third DUI conviction within ten years of a previous DUI conviction is considered a felony.
  • If the third DUI occurs more than 10 years after the previous conviction, it is treated as a misdemeanor.

Fourth DUI Offense:

  • Regardless of the time elapsed since the last DUI conviction, a fourth DUI will result in felony charges.

DUI Involving Serious Bodily Injuries (SBI):

  • If you cause serious bodily harm in an accident, it is considered a felony.
  • Serious bodily injury includes conditions posing a significant risk of death, long-term impairment of a body part or organ, or severe personal disfigurement.
  • Court-ordered compensation for victims may include expenses like lost income, medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, and rehabilitation.

DUI Manslaughter:

  • Charged when DUI results in the death of a person or unborn child, DUI manslaughter is a felony.
  • Offenders may be required to pay funeral expenses and provide restitution to the victim’s loved ones.

Understanding these distinctions is crucial, as DUI penalties escalate significantly when the offense is classified as a felony.

This post was written by a professional at Ticket Shield. Ticket Shield understands that life can sometimes throw unexpected challenges your way. That’s why Ticket Shield is here to help you navigate through legal roadblocks when you need it most. Their team of experienced lawyers specializes in a range of traffic-related legal matters, ensuring you have the best defense possible. Types of teams available:

  • Traffic Ticket Lawyer
  • DUI Lawyer 
  • Speeding Ticket Lawyer
  • Reckless Driving Lawyer
  • Suspended License Lawyer
  • Red Light Ticket Lawyer
  • Stop Sign Ticket Lawyer
  • Seat Belt Ticket Lawyer

Don’t let traffic tickets or driving-related charges weigh you down. Contact our Traffic Ticket Attorney in Boynton Beach, FL today for a free consultation, and let Ticket Shield be your shield in the legal arena. Your peace of mind is their priority!