Penalties Applicable to Your St. Petersburg, Clearwater, or Tampa DUI Case


This section presents an overview of the mandatory minimum penalties that must be imposed in a DUI case upon conviction. A person will be convicted of DUI if he or she enters a plea of guilty or no contest to the charge, or is found guilty by a jury. Of course, where a jury finds the accused person not guilty of DUI, then there is no conviction, there is no sentence of any kind, and if the administrative license suspension is still in effect, it will be rescinded.

Some states have "look back" periods for DUI offenses that limit the time period in which the charge can be enhanced. For example, if the "look back" period is four years, and your prior DUI conviction was five years ago, the pending charge will deemed a first offense. That is not the case in Florida. If you have a prior conviction, it will be used to determine the appropriate penalty, which will always be more severe than a first offense. The more priors to have, the more severe the penalties become, as set forth in greater detail below. Also, a DUI charge in Florida can be enhanced from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the number of prior DUI convictions and/or when they occurred in relation to the pending offense.

  • First DUI offense with a blood or breath alcohol level below .15
    • Adjudication of guilt
    • $983.00 in fines and court costs (approximately)
    • 12 months of probation
    • 6 to 12 month driver's license revocation
    • Up to 180 days in jail
    • 10 day vehicle impoundment
    • DUI school
    • Alcohol Evaluation
    • Treatment (if required)
    • 50 hours of community service
    • Cost of investigation
  • First DUI offense with a blood or breath alcohol level at or above .15 (or with a person less than 18 years of age in the car)
    • Adjudication of guilt
    • $1,518.00 in fines and court costs (approximately)
    • 12 months of probation
    • 6 to 12 month driver's license revocation
    • Up to 270 days in jail
    • 10 day vehicle impoundment
    • DUI school
    • Alcohol evaluation
    • Treatment (if recommended)
    • 50 hours of community service
    • Cost of investigation
    • 6 month ignition interlock
  • Second DUI offense within 5 years with blood or breath alcohol level below a .15
    • Adjudication of guilt
    • $1,518.00 in fines and court costs (approximately)
    • 12 months of probation
    • Mandatory five year driver's license revocation
    • Mandatory 10 days in jail
    • 30 day vehicle impound
    • Multiple Offender DUI school
    • Alcohol evaluation
    • Treatment (if recommended)
    • Cost of investigation
    • 1 year ignition interlock
  • Second DUI offense within 5 years with blood or breath alcohol level at or above .15​​
    • ​​​Adjudication of guilt
    • $2,558.00 in fines and court costs (approximately)
    • 12 months of probation
    • Mandatory five year driver's license revocation
    • Mandatory 10 days in jail
    • 30 day vehicle impound
    • Multiple offender DUI school
    • Alcohol evaluation
    • Treatment (if recommended)
    • Cost of investigation
    • 2 year ignition interlock
  • Second DUI offense outside five years with blood or breath alcohol level below .15
    • Adjudication of guilt
    • $1,518.00 in fines and court costs (approximately)
    • 12 months probation
    • 6 to 12 month driver's license revocation
    • Up to 9 months in jail
    • 10 day vehicle impound
    • Multiple offender DUI school
    • Alcohol evaluation
    • Treatment (if recommended)
    • Cost of investigation
    • 1 year ignition interlock
  • Second DUI offense outside of five years with blood or breath alcohol level at or above .15
    • ​Adjudication of guilt
    • $2,558.00 in fines and court costs (approximately)
    • 12 months of probation
    • 6 to 12 month driver's license revocation
    • Up to 12 months in jail
    • 10 day vehicle impound
    • Multiple offender DUI school
    • Alcohol evaluation
    • Treatment (if recommended)
    • Cost of investigation
    • 2 year ignition interlock
  • Third DUI offense within ten years with blood or breath alcohol level below .15
    • ​Adjudication of guilt
    • $2,558.00 in fines and court costs (approximately)
    • Up to 60 months of probation
    • Mandatory 10 year's license revocation
    • Mandatory 30 days in jail (and up to five years in prison)
    • 90 day vehicle impound
    • Multiple offender DUI school
    • Alcohol evaluation
    • Treatment (if recommended)
    • Cost of investigation
    • 2 year ignition interlock
  • Third DUI offense within ten years with blood or breath alcohol level at or above .15
    • Adjudication of guilt
    • $4,558.00 in fines and costs (approximately)
    • Up to sixty months of probation
    • Mandatory 10 year driver's license revocation
    • Mandatory 30 days in jail (and up to five years in prison)
    • 90 day vehicle impound
    • Multiple offender DUI school
    • Alcohol evaluation
    • Treatment (if recommended)
    • Cost of investigation
    • 2 year ignition interlock
  • Third DUI offense outside of ten years with blood or breath alcohol level below .15
    • Adjudication of guilt
    • $2,558.00 in fines and court costs (approximately)
    • 12 months of probation
    • 6 to 12 month driver's license revocation
    • Up to 12 months in jail
    • 10 day vehicle impound
    • Multiple offender DUI school
    • Alcohol evaluation
    • Treatment (if recommended)
    • Cost of investigation
    • 2 year ignition interlock
  • Third DUI outside of ten years with blood or breath alcohol level at or above .15
    • Adjudication of guilt
    • $4,558.00 in fines and court costs (approximately)
    • 12 months probation
    • 6 to 12 month driver's license revocation
    • Up to 12 months in jail
    • 10 day vehicle impound
    • Multiple offender DUI school
    • Alcohol evaluation
    • Treatment (if recommended)
    • Cost of investigation
    • 2 year ignition interlock
  • Fourth DUI with a lifetime
    • Adjudication of guilt
    • $3,015.00 in fines and costs if BAC is below .15 otherwise &4,558.00 (approximately)
    • Up to 60 months of probation
    • Permanent driver's license revocation
    • Jail time will depend on number of prior convictions and when but court may sentence the defendant to five years in prison (maximum)
    • 10, 30, or 90 day impound depending on number of prior convictions and when
    • Multiple offender DUI school
    • Alcohol evaluation
    • Treatment (if recommended)
    • Cost of investigation
    • 2 year ignition interlock

Many of the penalties associated with a DUI offense are mandatory under Florida law. However, an experienced St. Petersburg DUI lawyer can often mitigate the impact of a DUI charge by avoiding lengthy periods of probation and obtaining a hardship license (or full reinstatement of your driving privilege) more expeditiously. In other situations, a reduction in charge may be a viable option. No matter your circumstances, early intervention by a qualified St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney can make a difference in the outcome of your Tampa Bay area DUI case. Contact The Kilfin Law Firm, P.C. for an initial consultation


  • DUI School

There are two levels of DUI School which vary in terms of course content and duration. Level I DUI School is designed for the first time DUI offender. It consists of twelve hours of instruction and is exposes the first time offender to issues regarding the use of alcohol and drugs. Level II DUI School is designed for the recidivist DUI offender. It consists of 21 hours of 21 hours of instructions and deals with issues pertaining to clients who have been convicted of more than one alcohol or drug related traffic offense. A person is typically required to complete the DUI School in the county in which he or she resides but exceptions can be made if necessary, on a case-by-case basis.

  • Pinellas County

If you reside in Pinellas county, there are two class locations available:

  1. Clearwater: The Clearwater office is located at 1145 Court Street. Registration hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On Thursdays, the office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. No registrations will be accepted after 4:00 p.m.
  2. St. Petersburg: The St. Petersburg office is located at 455 31st Street North. Registration hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. No registrations will be accepted after 3:00 p.m.​​​

​According to the Suncoast Safety Council, the goals for the Level I DUI education course are as follows:

  • To define the DUI problem for society and the individual
  • To provide information on the effects and consequences of alcohol and other drugs on driving
  • To assist participants in self-assessing the nature of their problem with alcohol and other drugs and driving
  • To develop alternatives to impaired driving
  • Linking people to community resources

DUI Level I course content is as follows:

  • Consists of twelve hours
  • Includes behavioral objectives for the student
  • Consists of deductive and interactive methodologies
  • Emphasizes personal choices
  • Review of Florida traffic laws related to DUI
  • Review of the DUI process through the court system and DHSMV
  • Substance abuse, chemical dependency, and additional related issues will be addressed

Course availability is as follows:

  • Courses are available in English
  • Locations include Clearwater and St. Petersburg (see above)
  • To meet the needs of the schedules of enrollees, classes are available weekly, days, evenings and weekends
  • Enrollees must register for the DUI program in the county where the live, work, or attend school, unless an exception has been granted

Registration Information:

  • A person may enroll in Level I DUI School on line. To use this service, he or she will be assessed a $7.00 processing fee
  • A person may enroll in Level I DUI School in person, at either of the locations listed above
  • DUI registration fees and re-scheduling fees are set by the DHSMV for all Florida DUI programs
  • The registration fee for the Level I DUI School is $281.50. It includes the mandated state assessment fee, Florida lifetime driving record, and the Driver Risk Inventory Questionnaire. The Suncoast Safety Council accepts cash, checks, money orders, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card and Debit Cards.

According to the Suncoast Safety Council, the goals for the Level II DUI education course are as follows:

  • To educate regarding the effects of DUI
  • To provide information on the effects and consequences of alcohol and other drugs on driving
  • To provide information on the psychological and physiological effects of alcohol and drugs
  • Alternative behaviors and attitudes towards drinking and driving
  • Linking people to community resources

Level II DUI Course content is as follows:

  • Consists of 21 hours
  • Includes behavioral objectives for the student
  • Highly interactive, group process oriented and flexible to meet individual needs
  • Emphasis on personal choice and special problems associated with the repeat offender
  • Review of Level I DUI course content
  • Substance abuse, chemical dependency, and additional issues will be addressed

Course availability

  • Courses are available in English
  • Locations include Clearwater and St. Petersburg (see above)
  • To meet the needs of varying schedules of enrollees, classes are available weekly, days, evenings and weekends
  • Enrollees must register for the DUI program in the county where they live, work, or attend school, unless an exception has been granted

Registration Information

  • A person may enroll in Level II DUI School on line. As with the Level I course, there is a $7.00 processing fee.
  • You may also enroll in person at either the St. Petersburg or Clearwater locations above.
  • The cost of Level II DUI School is $426.50, which includes the mandated state assessment fee, a lifetime Florida driving record, and the Driver Risk Inventory Questionnaire. Payment methods for the Level II DUI are the same as those for the Level I DUI School (see above).

Whether you are enrolling for the Level I or Level II DUI School, you will need to provide the following items to register:

  1. Proof of identification. This can include a driver's license, a Florida ID card, work ID, or a military ID.
  2. Arrest citation or ticket
  3. A legible copy of your arrest affidavit. This is not the same document as the citation. If you were not provided with a copy of your arrest affidavit, you (or your St. Petersburg DUI attorney) can obtain one from the clerk of court.
  4. If you were involved in a traffic crash, you must provide a coy of the crash report. If you don't have a copy, you (or your St. Petersburg DUI attorney) can obtain one from the arresting agency.
  5. Blood, breath or urine test results or evidence of your refusal to submit to such test
  6. A current lifetime driving record. The record must be dated within 90 days of enrollment. A lifetime Florida driver license record can be obtained through the Suncoast Safety Council for $15.00.

If your DUI occurred outside of Florida, or on an out-of-state driver's license, you must contact the Suncoast Safety Council prior to registering on line. Every state has different requirements for DUI offenses and contacting the Suncoast Safety Council, if this is your situation, will allow them to assist you in meeting the specific requirements of each state involved. As a St. Petersburg DUI lawyer, I have handled countless DUIs involving an out-of-state driver who was arrested for DUI in the Tampa Bay area and I can tell you that there is no room for error in seeking to avoid a prolonged license suspension (or any hard suspension at all). Failure to contact the Suncoast Safety Council prior to enrolling on-line may result in unnecessary fees and delays in completing the requirements of each involved state. If this is your situation, you can contact a representative at (727) 373-7233, Ext. 541.

You should also be aware that if you attend the Level I DUI School by providing false information, or failing to disclose the existence of prior DUI arrests, convictions, or attendance at a DUI School, the Suncoast Safety Council will require you to re-enroll and complete the Level II program. Additionally, you will be required to pay the full fee for the Level II DUI School.

  • Hillsborough County

If you reside in Hillsborough County, there are two class locations available:

  1. Tampa: 4711 N. Hubert Avenue. Registration hours are Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Contact number is (813) 875-6201.
  2. Brandon: 1063 E. Brandon Blvd. Registration hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Contact number is (813) 875-6201.

According to DUI Counterattack, Hillsborough, Inc., the Level I DUI School is 12 hours of instruction, led by a state certified instructor. Like the Pinellas program, it is designed to expose the DUI client who has had one alcohol or drug related arrest or conviction to issues regarding the use of alcohol and drugs. The Level I Drug and Alcohol Education Course includes "behavioral objectives for the students and consists of didactic and interactive educational methodologies. These include, but are not limited to to, the effect and consequences, both personally and socially, of drinking/drugging on the driving task, definition of the DUI problem, the role of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, law enforcement and the judiciary, and discussion of community treatment resources, substance abuse, chemical dependency and other issues".

The registration fee for Level I DUI School is $268.00.

According to DUI Counterattack, Hillsborough, Inc., the Level II DUI School is 21 hours of instruction, which has been designed to specifically address issues pertaining to clients who have been convicted of more than one DUI/alcohol or drug related traffic offense, or who meet the following criteria:

  • The person has previously attended a DUI Level I Drug and Alcohol Education Course; or
  • Has been convicted two or more times of an offense requiring DUI program attendance; or
  • If attending in pre-conviction status, attendance at Level II drug and alcohol education course will be made if Level I Drug and Alcohol Education Course has already been completed; or
  • If the client is convicted of another DUI offense while attending the Level I program, he or she must complete both the Level I and Level II program before receiving a certificate of completion.

According to DUI Counterattack, the Level II drug and alcohol education course includes the elements listed for Level I curricula and also includes the identified behavioral objectives whose primary emphasis is on special problems of the repeat offender. The primary method of instruction is interactive in nature.

The registration fee for Level II DUI School is $413.00.

At the Tampa location, payment may be made by cash, money order, Visa, Mastercard, or debit cards. At the Brandon location, payment may be made by cash, money order, Visa, Mastercard, and debit cards. If you enroll on line, for classes at either location, payment may be made only by Visa or Mastercard.

The following items can be presented at the time of registration, of you have them, and if not, must be presented at the time of the evaluation appointment (for more information on the alcohol evaluation component, see below):

  1. Official lifetime driving record dated within 30 days of enrollment. This record can be obtained through the DUI Counterattack office for $15.00, at the clerk's office, or at a local DMV office. Counterattack does not accepts records obtained from the internet or from a third party source.
  2. Arrest affidavit.
  3. Arrest citation,
  4. Breath test results and/or blood or urine test results (if applicable).

Classes are available in both English and Spanish, and can be taken during the day, evenings, or on weekends. DUI School must be completed in the county where the person lives, works, or attends school unless and exception has been granted.

As a St. Petersburg DUI lawyer, I have each of my clients enroll in DUI school immediately. For the first time offender, who is seeking to avoid an administrative hard suspension by seeking a "review of eligibility", enrollment in DUI School is a condition precedent. For the muti-offender, if you are otherwise hardship eligible on an administrative suspension, you will need to present proof of completion of DUI School prior to obtaining a hardship license, after the applicable hard suspension period has been served. Similarly, you will need to show proof of completion of DUI School, an alcohol evaluation, and enrollment in treatment (if recommended) before you can obtain a hardship license on the criminal suspension, or reinstate your privilege to drive following the criminal suspension. If you have questions, an experienced St. Petersburg DUI attorney can help.