Out-of-State Resident Florida DUI Explained

Even if you are not a Florida resident, you are bound by Florida’s laws while you are visiting. This is the case as soon as you cross the border into the State of Florida. It does not matter that your driver’s license is from another state. Once you begin driving on Florida’s roads, you are bound by Florida’s laws. This includes Florida’s DUI laws and implied consent law.

Florida’s DUI Laws and Out-of-State Residents

In Florida, it is a misdemeanor to be in control of a car if you are either impaired by alcohol or drugs or your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.8% or higher. This is so even if your ability to drive is not impaired. If you violate Florida’s DUI laws while visiting the state for vacation or otherwise, the fact that you are an out-of-state resident is not a valid defense. Moreover, if you are convicted of a DUI in Florida, you may be required to return to Florida to complete the terms of your sentence. The possible penalties for a first-time DUI in Florida include a fine of $500 to $1,000, suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year, impoundment of your vehicle for up to 10 days, a probation or jail sentence of up to six months, installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car, community service and completion of an alcohol or drug treatment program.

Consequences of a Florida DUI for an Out-of-State Resident

Some people mistakenly believe that if they receive a DUI in another state, it will not impact their driving privileges in their home state. This is simply not true. Under the interstate Driver’s License Compact, states including Florida exchange information pertaining to traffic violations and driver’s license suspensions with each other. Under this compact, your Florida DUI (or any other traffic violation for that matter) will be reported to your home state. Accordingly, if you are convicted of a DUI in Florida, you will face punishment in both Florida and your home state. Under the Driver’s License Compact, your conviction will be reported to your home state. Once this information is received, your home state will impose consequences such as suspending your driver’s license according to its own DUI laws.