Orlando DUI Defense Attorneys

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol & Drugs in Florida 

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a serious crime in Florida. The state takes DUI charges very seriously and often seeks the maximum penalties in order to punish alleged offenders and make an example of them. 

If you or someone you care about has been charged with DUI, it is absolutely critical that you reach out to a criminal defense attorney with experience handling DUI cases. As former state prosecutors, our Orlando DUI defense attorneys know that these cases are prosecuted by top members of the state's legal team. For this reason, we encourage you to contact our firm for counsel right away.

What to Know If You Are Arrested for DUI 

When you are arrested for or charged with DUI in Florida, several things happen. First, you will face criminal penalties, including possible jail time and steep fines. You will also face certain administrative penalties, including automatic driver’s license suspension. 

Here are the main things you need to know if you are arrested for DUI in Florida: 

  • Your driver’s license will automatically be suspended
  • A DMV suspension stays on your driving record for 75 years
  • You have 10 days to request a DMV hearing to keep your driving privileges
  • Your license can be revoked for 6 months to several years up to permanent revocation
Let Us Put Our Experience to Work for You.

You must act quickly after a DUI arrest, as you have very limited time to challenge your driver’s license suspension. We encourage you to reach out to our Orlando DUI defense attorneys now to learn how we can help you fight to keep your driving privileges.

Florida DUI Laws 

In Florida, as in all 50 states, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This is known as DUI, and it is punished harshly by law enforcement and prosecutors.

The law applies to all types of motor vehicles, including automobiles, commercial vehicles, boats, and more. Additionally, even if someone is not actually operating a motor vehicle at the time of arrest but is found to have a reasonable capacity to do so, such as sitting in the front seat of a parked vehicle with the car turned off but the keys in the ignition, could be charged with DUI.

In Florida, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of: 

  • 0.08% – all non-commercial drivers 21 and over 
  • 0.04%  – all commercial vehicle drivers 21 and over
  • 0.02% – all drivers under the age of 21 

Additionally, you can be charged with DUI if your BAC is below the legal limit, but the police officer believes you to be intoxicated or impaired to the extent that you do not possess normal faculties. 

What Are the Penalties for DUI in Florida? 

The penalties for DUI in Florida depend on certain factors, such as whether you have been convicted of DUI before, whether there were any children in the vehicle at the time, and whether you allegedly caused an accident that resulted in injury to or the death of another person (vehicular manslaughter).

Below is a general overview of the possible penalties you could face if you are charged with:

  • First-Time DUI: Up to 6 months in jail, $500 to $1,000 in fines, driver’s license revocation of 180 days to 1 year, and possible installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for up to 6 months
  • Second-Time DUI: Up to 9 months in jail, $1,000 to $2,000 in fines, driver’s license revocation of 180 days to 1 year, and IID installation for up to 2 years
  • Third-Time DUI: Up to 12 months in jail, $2,000 to $5,000 in fines, driver’s license revocation of 180 days to 1 year, and IID installation for up to 2 years

Other possible penalties include probation, community service, vehicle impoundment, and more. A third-time DUI is charged as a felony, and may come with harsher penalties if certain enhancements are present. For example, if you are convicted of a third DUI offense within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction, you could spend up to 5 years in jail and have your driver’s license revoked for 10 years. 

If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for on our website, or if you are seeking information specific to your case, do not hesitate to contact Ali & Blankner and set up a free and confidential consultation with one of our Orlando DUI defense attorneys.  

What Is the Florida DUI 10-Day Rule? 

You have 10 days following an arrest for DUI, or drunk driving, to take action to stop the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. You must request a hearing within 10 days of being arrested for DUI, or your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of six months or more. 

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) can have life-altering consequences for all involved parties. Even if you were driving alone and caused no injury or property damage, a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs faces serious legal penalties if arrested. This is especially true in Florida, where DUI laws and penalties are some of the toughest in the nation. 

It is important that you act quickly and reach out to our team at Ali & Blankner right away. We need to discuss a counterattack, as well as how to defend your driver's license and what happens at a DHMSV hearing. Get in touch with us today to set up an appointment with our team. 

At the law firm of Ali & Blankner, our attorneys are ALL former prosecutors with more than 85 years of total combined experience. Many of our lawyers have earned AV® Ratings from Martindale-Hubbell®, as well as a listing in the organization’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. We focus a significant portion of our practice on criminal defense cases and have handled thousands of DUI cases just like yours.


Call our office today at (407) 753-1312 or contact us online using our secure submission form to request a free initial consultation. 


How Ali & Blankner Can Help 

Our firm is recognized as one of the area’s leading DUI defense law firms. We have handled well over 100,000 cases, successfully achieving the results our clients needed countless times. Our goal is to not only help you protect your rights and navigate the criminal justice system but also to serve as a source of information, guidance, and counsel throughout the entire process. 

Click the link below for more information and access to some of our DUI defense resources: 

The genuine care and concern Mr. Ali showed us during a difficult time were very much appreciated. It has been a long journey, however, Mr. Ali and the team at Ali & Blankner have been there with us each step along the way.
T.M.
  • Case Dismissal. DUI
  • Case Dismissal. DUI
  • Case Dismissal. DUI
  • Case Dismissal. DUI

How to Defend DUI Charges in Florida 

While many people think their charges are solidified the moment an officer puts them in the back of a police car, cases are never this simple. There is no denying that everyone makes mistakes, even law enforcement. From incorrectly handling test results to failing to read your rights, these mistakes can lead to evidence being suppressed in your case, ultimately strengthening your defense while weakening the prosecution's case against you.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may be able to challenge:

  • The Initial Stop: When an officer doesn't have probable cause to pull a driver over, the evidence obtained following the stop may be thrown out.
  • Field Sobriety Tests: These tests are extremely subjective and can be proven to be insufficient evidence on their own for DUI charges.
  • Chemical Tests: Incorrect calibration, failure to administer tests correctly or at the right time, and mishandled results can all nullify this evidence.
  • Actual Blood Alcohol: Sometimes a person's blood alcohol can rise over a short duration, giving a false indication of an illegal BAC, even though they were legal when driving.
  • Police Conduct: If the arresting officer acted improperly in any way or violated your rights somehow, any evidence obtained in the wake of this may be inadmissible.

At Ali & Blankner, we develop individualized approaches and innovative defense strategies. Our team can evaluate the evidence and look for possible holes in the prosecution’s case. We strongly recommend that you get in touch with our firm today to discuss your legal rights and options with an experienced Orlando DUI defense attorney. 


 We offer a free initial consultation to discuss what can be done in your or your loved one's case. In addition, we offer flexible payment plans and will work with you and your financial status.


DUI Defense FAQ

Can a DUI be dropped to a lesser charge?

Yes. There are several alternatives to a DUI. These alternatives are not easily given and usually require extensive litigation to convince the state to amend or reduce the DUI charge. 

Some of the alternative charges are as follows:

  • Reckless Driving (Alcohol-Related) – a second-degree misdemeanor
  • Reckless Driving – a second-degree misdemeanor
  • Careless Driving – a civil infraction

Reckless driving, alcohol-related or not, is technically a different criminal offense. However, the elements are somewhat similar to that of a DUI. If the case is litigated properly, a prosecutor may agree to reduce the charge to one of the above offenses. The importance of obtaining one of these reductions/amendments is to obtain a withhold of adjudication and keep your criminal record clean (or avoid points on your driving record). A DUI comes with a mandatory adjudication of guilt, and that is why obtaining that reduction/amendment to the lower charge is highly sought after.

The ultimate goal in any DUI charge is to get the charge completely dismissed. However, the above charges are generally good alternatives if you are seeking a resolution with the least amount of risk. At Ali & Blankner, we have skilled attorneys who can litigate your case and work hard to get your DUI either dismissed or reduced.

Can you get a DUI dismissed?

Yes. We’ve had thousands of DUIs dismissed in the many years that we’ve been handling these cases. There are many ways to get these cases dismissed. DUIs are extremely technical criminal offenses and require quite a bit of evidence to prove. We’ve gotten DUIs dismissed for officers failing to have a valid basis for a stop of a vehicle, for failing to have the necessary reasonable suspicion to conduct a DUI investigation, and for failing to have the needed probable cause to arrest an individual for DUI.

There may also be issues with the field sobriety tests, the breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test that greatly assist in getting a DUI dismissed. Sometimes, it may be many factors that come into play together or singular factors that result in a dismissal. It is extremely important to have an experienced attorney working on your DUI case to ensure that these finite and extremely technical issues are not overlooked.

Can you get a DUI reduced to reckless driving?

Yes, it is possible to get a DUI reduced to reckless driving. Our firm has had thousands of DUI cases reduced or dismissed.  It is difficult to accomplish, but with the proper defense and the tenacity of the skilled legal team at Ali & Blankner, getting a reckless driving reduction is possible.

Can a public defender get a DUI reduced?

In many instances, public defenders are overworked and underpaid. Most public defenders handling DUI cases are fresh out of law school with little to no experience. Even for seasoned attorneys, getting a DUI reduced is no easy task. Achieving a reduction requires time, patience, and a wealth of legal knowledge to do the things needed to ensure that a DUI client gets the best possible results.

What do police look for in drunk drivers?

The police will try and observe any erratic or reckless driving on your part before pulling you over. Law enforcement is required to have probable cause to stop you, which means they are not allowed to pull you over merely on a hunch or by picking your car at random. A knowledgeable Orlando DUI attorney can challenge the grounds of your DUI stop in court in an effort to have your arrest thrown out.

Do I have to take a breath test?

You are legally required to take a breath or blood test due to the implied consent laws of Florida. However, you generally cannot be forced unless there are extraordinary circumstances. The important things to remember are that if you refuse to take the test, your license will be suspended and the refusal will be used against you in court; if you take the test and have a blood alcohol level over 0.08%, your license will be suspended for a minimum of six months.

Can police ask me questions after pulling me over without reading me my rights?

Depending on your situation, if police ask you questions during a stop, you are not technically in custody and therefore do not need to be read your rights. Once you are arrested, police do need to read them to you if they proceed to interrogate you.

What should I say to an officer if I'm stopped?

You do not have to answer any questions that could potentially incriminate you. You may politely inform the officer that you do not wish to answer questions without a lawyer present. Anything you say to an officer concerning impairment, consuming alcohol, or driving under the influence can, and likely will, be used against you in court. Generally, the fewer admissions you provide law enforcement, the less evidence they will have against you in a DUI charge.

What do officers look for when they stop me?

There are numerous signs police are trained to look for when making a stop including flushed face, slurred speech, staggering when exiting the vehicle, inability to follow directions, alcohol on the breath, and other indicators. However, these "symptoms" can be disputed in court by your attorney.

What is the first step I should take after a DUI arrest?

After a DUI arrest, you will be held until you can appear before a judge. You may be able to post bail until your next hearing. It is important to remember that anything you say can be used against you in court, so one of the things you should do right away is contact an attorney for legal counsel.

What happens at a DHSMV hearing, and how is it different than my criminal hearing?

A DHSMV (Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles) hearing is an administrative hearing that simply deals with the state of your driver's license. Your criminal hearing happens in a courtroom setting before a judge, whereas a DHSMV hearing will take place at the DHSMV. After a DUI arrest, a person only has 10 days to request an administrative hearing. Failure to do so will cause your license to go into automatic suspension.

I believe I was unlawfully pulled over and arrested. What can I do?

Unlawful police stops and unlawful arrests are both common reasons for getting DUI charges dismissed. Law enforcement must have probable cause in order to pull you over. Stopping and searching a vehicle or a person requires probable cause or else it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, "unlawful search and seizure."

Even if the officer had probable cause to pull you over, the evidence from the field sobriety tests may not have been enough to warrant an arrest. These tests are up to the interpretation of the administering officer, making them subjective. They can also be administered improperly. If either happened in your case, you absolutely have the right to seek attorney counsel in hopes of proving unlawful arrest or an unlawful stop.

I was arrested while on vacation in Orlando. What can I do?

If you are not a resident of Orlando, or even a resident of Florida, you can still secure representation from an Orlando DUI lawyer at Ali & Blankner. If you are simply on vacation in Florida and cannot stay in the state for an extended period of time, we may even be able to handle your case while you are not present. To learn more about out-of-state DUI, call us directly.

Can I be arrested for prescription drugs in Florida?

Yes. In many cases of DUI and drugs, the arrestees were actually arrested for having prescription drugs in their system. Even if the drugs were prescribed and the individual was taking them properly, an officer or judge could still determine that the drugs were the reason for the reckless driving, accident, etc. DUI involving prescription drug arrests are typically founded on urine test evidence.

Can I be arrested for DUI if I was consuming medicinal marijuana and driving?

Yes. Whether it is a prescription or non-prescription drug, DUI involves driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while you are impaired. Even if you are prescribed medicinal marijuana, consuming said marijuana may impair you, affecting your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. 

Our firm has very experienced medical marijuana DUI attorneys that have dealt with these issues countless times. Some vital factors include when you consumed the medicinal marijuana and whether the officer who stopped or arrested you has sufficient training/experience to be able to legally prove that you were impaired by marijuana while you were operating the vehicle.  As with any other instance, it is likely best to remain silent concerning any drug consumption when confronted by a stopping officer.


Call (407) 753-1312 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation with our team. Hablamos español.


Put a Winning Team in Your Corner Fighting For Your Rights Since 1986