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INCREASED DUI PENALTIES BEING CONSIDERED (March 2017):
There could be more severe penalties on the way for first time drunk driving offenders. A bill that would require an ignition interlock device on someone’s vehicle after their first drunken driving conviction has passed its first committee in the Florida House of Representatives. The bill (HB 949) passed the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee and must go through two more committees before reaching the House floor.
The interlock device prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. The current law makes it mandatory for six months for a first offense if the person’s blood alcohol content is higher than 0.15 percent or a minor is in the vehicle. The devices are also mandatory for multiple DUIs. Florida would join 28 other states and the District of Columbia with similar laws.
NO REFUSAL LAW EFFECTIVE IN 2016:
On October 1, 2016, Florida House Bill 555 went into law and adds a new penalties for anyone who refuses a chemical test during a Florida DUI traffic stop. Because of the state of Florida's “implied consent” laws, you do not actually have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test (although some individuals arrested for a DUI think they can). Now, if you refuse a breathalyzer test, your penalties will include: (i) immediate suspension of your driver’s license; (ii) misdemeanor charge (if you have refused the chemical testing before); (iii) mandatory ignition interlock requirement (if convicted of refusing the BAC test); and (iv) no leeway for the court to reduce the penalties for “no refusal” laws.
FLORIDA DUI LAW - LEGAL UPDATES