On April 7,
2002 Governor Bush signed a Bill that changed
many of the DUI laws. Below is a list of some
of the DUI laws that have either changed or
will be new Florida DUI laws as of July 2003.
Felony Driving Under The Influence
- A third DUI conviction within
ten years of any prior DUI is a third degree
felony. Prior to July of 2002 a third DUI
within 10 years was a misdemeanor offense.
Some Florida jurisdictions will still prosecute
these cases as misdemeanors.
Ignition Interlock Devices
-An Ignition Interlock Device
is a device placed inside a vehicle which
requires the driver to breathe into a tube
before the car will start. If any alcohol
is detected on the drivers breath the vehicle
will not start.
-Any person convicted of a second or third
DUI that intends to obtain a permanent or
restricted driver license, will be required
to have an ignition interlock device installed
in their vehicle at their own expense. The
number of DUI convictions determines how long
the interlock device must remain in the car.
Previous to the new law (effective July 2003),
Interlock devices were only installed in vehicles
pursuant to court order. Drivers will now
be required to submit proof of the interlock
installation to the Department of Highway
Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Breath Refusal Law Changes
-As of July 1, 2002, a second
refusal to submit to a breath test can be
charged as a first degree misdemeanor punishable
by up to one year in county jail. The license
suspension will remain at 18 months. The constitutionality
of this new law is being challenged by multiple
criminal defense lawyers throughout the state.