Florida DUI Statistics
In an effort to protect its citizens and visitors as well as to keep its roads safe, Florida law is tough on drunk-driving. This crackdown on drunk-driving stems from the fact that it is never safe to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Each year, Florida incurs billions of dollars in damages related to alcohol-related accidents. To curb these costs as well as to protect the general public, Florida imposes harsh penalties on people who violate the state’s DUI laws.
When it comes to DUI enforcement, Florida law enforcement has a unified front. Law enforcement officers employed with the Florida Highway Patrol as well as local police departments and sheriff’s offices worked together to make 55,722 DUI arrests in 2011. Interestingly, the vast majority of these arrests were made by police officers and sheriffs, but the Florida Highway Patrol also made a significant contribution to this effort.
According to a 2010 study, Tampa (Hillsborough County) had the most DUI arrests with Miami (Miami-Dade County) and Jacksonville (Duval County) in second and third place for the most DUI arrests. Fort Lauderdale (Broward County) had the fewest DUI arrests with Melbourne (Brevard County) and Orlando (Orange County) in second and third place for the fewest DUI arrests.
DUI Punishment and Penalties
Florida law is harsh on people who violate the state’s DUI laws. This is especially so for underage drinkers. For drunk drivers under the legal drinking age of 21 years, Florida has a zero tolerance law. In Florida, you will be charged with DUI if you are under 21 years old and have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of a mere 0.2 or higher. Additionally, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for six months.
In Florida, even a first-offense DUI carries harsh penalties. If you are convicted of a first- offense DUI, you will be faced with a fine of $500 to $1,000, up to 50 hours of community service, up to six months in jail, up to one year on probation, loss of your driver’s license for at least 180 days and enrollment in a state-sanctioned DUI school.