What Happens When You Get Arrested for a DUI?

What Happens When You Get Arrested For DUI

What Happens When You Get Arrested for a DUI?

Driving under the influence, most commonly referred to as a DUI, is a charge that can result in fines, driver’s license suspension, vehicle impoundment, and possible jail time. This charge is most common for individuals who are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that impairs their ability to safely operate a vehicle. The severity of DUI punishments also depends on the person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), whether there were others involved, injuries, property damage, and whether any minors were in the car. 

As a luxury drug and alcohol rehab in Palm Beach, we understand the cognitive impairment that can result from excessive alcohol consumption. While some can control their drinking, a few drinks a week can quickly progress into alcoholism.

What Happens When You Get Arrested for a DUI in Florida?

If you’ve never driven under the influence of alcohol, then you probably aren’t aware of what happens when you get arrested for a DUI. 

License Suspension

If it’s the person’s first DUI, then their driver’s license suspension can range from six to twelve months. However, this is referring to the criminal penalty. An administrative driver’s license suspension occurs when the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) suspends the person’s license when their BAC is at .08 percent or higher.1 A first-time DUI offender who refuses any chemical testing upon arrest will have their license suspended for a year. Individuals who have their license suspended as a result of a DUI charge can often obtain a hardship license. This allows the person to drive to and from work, school, church, and doctor appointments. This kind of license suspension applies to people who had a BAC of .08 or higher and completed a 30-day suspension.



Fines for people with first-time DUI charges in Florida can range from $500 to $2,000. These depend on the person’s BAC. If it was .15 percent or higher, or if a minor was in the vehicle at the time of arrest, the fine will be between $1,000 and $2,000.1 



The duration of jail time depends on the circumstances of the incident. For first-time offenders, six months of jail time is standard. If the person’s blood alcohol level (BAL) was .15 percent or higher, then they would most likely serve nine months of jail time. If property damage or personal injury resulted from the accident, then they would be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which requires a maximum fine of $1,000 or a year of jail time. When vehicular homicide or manslaughter are involved, the fines can go up to $10,000 and jail time up to 30 years.1 In some cases, judges allow defendants to serve their sentencing in alcohol addiction treatment


Vehicle Impoundment 

Unless the defendant’s family has no other available form of transportation, the first-time offenders will have their vehicles impounded or immobilized for 10 days. The 10 days cannot overlap with their jail time, meaning that defendants will have to complete their sentence before the impoundment period can begin. 


Interlock Devices 

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a small breathalyzer that is installed in the defendant’s car. It detects any traces of alcohol in the person’s breath. To start the car, the person must first take a breathalyzer test. When you’re arrested for DUI in Florida for the first time, an IID will be installed in your vehicle for up to six months if your BAL was 0.15 percent or higher.1 

Unfortunately, many people have been charged with DUIs. Even after fulfilling all of the requirements, many individuals may experience difficulties in obtaining a passport, obtaining a firearm, renting a home, or working with children. Like any other legal charge, a DUI goes on your record, limiting certain personal freedoms. 


A DUI can be a sign of hitting rock bottom. Drug or alcohol abuse can affect behavior and judgement to the point where a person may put themselves and others at risk. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, get help before it’s too late. You can avoid the repercussions of drug and alcohol abuse by calling Seaside Palm Beach at 561-677-9374 to find out more about our luxury residential rehab



  1. FLHSMV- Florida DUI and Administrative Suspension Laws

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