When authorities stop you and charge you with driving under the influence of alcohol in Florida, you may have concerns about whether a conviction means you are going to have to spend time behind bars. While you face fines, community service obligations, license suspensions and other penalties if you receive a conviction for DUI in Florida, whether you have to go to jail depends on several variables.
Per the Bradenton Times, one determining factor in whether you spend time in jail after a conviction for drunk driving is whether you have any DUI convictions already. If you do, when you received those convictions becomes important.
Jail after a first DUI
Jail time is a possibility, rather than an absolute, following a first Florida DUI. While there is no minimum jail time requirement for first-time offenders, the court may, depending on circumstances, decide to put you behind bars for up to six months after a drunk driving arrest. If you had a particularly high blood alcohol concentration or a minor present at the time of your DUI arrest, you face up to nine months behind bars.
Jail time after a second DUI
If you receive a second Florida DUI within five years of your first one, jail time becomes mandatory. Under these circumstances, you must spend at least 10 days behind bars. However, you may have to spend up to a year behind bars after a second DUI depending on the details of your arrest.
A third or subsequent DUI means additional mandatory jail sentences. The lookback period for a third DUI in Florida is 10 years.