Florida Penalties for First DUI

Across the country, we have seen an increase in tougher DUI laws in recent years in order to deter drivers from drunk driving. Fort Walton Beach, Florida is no exception and, if a guilty verdict is reached, even a first-time offender can find themselves facing a multi-faceted sentence.

Penalties for a first-time DUI offense in Florida can include:

  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • License revocation of at least 180 days
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • DUI school

In some extreme cases, the accused can be sentenced to up to six months in jail (this, however, is uncommon for a first offense). Because these penalties can culminate to a significant interruption of the life the accused, it is highly advised that these drivers seek capable counsel before pleading guilty. At our law firm, we will thoroughly explore any viable defense options and help ensure that this charge impacts your life as little as possible.

Get nearly two decades of legal experience on your side as you confront your DUI charge. Call our offices at (850) 999-0006 today.

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Cases We Handle


One of the biggest mistakes drivers charged with DUI make is assume that because they've failed their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test and have been arrested, they have essentially already been found guilty of a crime. This is a misconception. Even if your breath or blood test registered an illegal level of alcohol in your system, you are only suspected of drunk driving. You may still have viable defense options that a skilled Fort Walton Beach DUI attorney can help you pursue.

At our firm, we will assess:

  • Probable cause: What was the reason law enforcement pulled you over? Once they did, what caused them to suspect drunk driving?
  • Breathalyzer: Was it properly maintained? When was the last time it had maintenance?
  • Test protocol: Did officers follow proper protocol when testing a driver for alcohol consumption?
  • Miranda issues: After the arrest occurred, were there violations of the defendant's Miranda rights?
  • Medical conditions: Are you currently taking any medication? Is there something other than alcohol that could have affected your driving or conduct?
  • Evidence handling: After evidence against you was collected, what happened? Is there anything in that timeline that could have affected its integrity?

Representing DUI Clients Throughout Okaloosa County

Charged with a DUI or BUI? At Vanover Law Firm, P.A., our criminal defense team, headed by Attorney Chris Garrett, brings uncommon experience and insight to this particularly dynamic and challenging practice area. Our experienced DUI lawyers in Fort Walton Beach, FL have handled more than 3,000 local DUI cases from Okaloosa, Walton, Santa Rosa, and Escambia counties since we opened the firm more than 20+ years ago. The law firm that has handled literally thousands of LOCAL DUI/BUI cases! .

DUI and BUI arrests are among the most common arrests in Okaloosa, Walton, Santa Rosa, and Escambia Counties. However, none of these counties in Northwest Florida have a pre-trial diversion program. There is NO program here that allows you to take a class and get the charge dismissed. You must fight your charge. Northwest Florida courts are notoriously more aggressive towards DUI’s and BUI’s than in any other area of Florida. You need to fight for your driver’s license quickly. After 10 days you could automatically lose your driver’s license for months! We will help you secure your license immediately.

  • DUI | Santa Rosa County Reduce to Reckless Driving
  • 3rd DUI | Walton County Case Dismissed
  • DUI | Okaloosa County Reduced to Reckless Driving


    “Great DUI law firm. I had a DUI over Christmas. They got me a drivers license within 48 hours and I'm still driving on that license! I never had to go to court. Highly recommended!”

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