317 NE 1st St
Gainesville, FL  32601
fax: (352) 375-0813

call us today

(352) 375-0812

¡Hablamos Español!

Free consultation
Gainesville DUI Attorney

Driving Under the Influence

Gainesville DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with any DUI offense in Gainesville, Alachua County, FL, or any of the surrounding areas in Florida, then contact the Galigani Law Firm. Dean Galigani is an experienced criminal defense attorney who is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar.

The Florida Bar's only expert designation, this distinction is a result of years of experience and specialization in criminal defense. Let us put our focus on DUI charges to work for you. Call the Galigani Law Firm today for a free consultation at (352) 375-0812 to talk about your arrest and defenses.

WARNING

You only have 10 (ten) days after your arrest to file for a formal review hearing of your administrative suspension. We help our clients preserve their right to an administrative hearing. We also help our clients obtain a 42-day permit while we fight to invalidate the administrative suspension. There is no downside to contesting the administrative suspension so act quickly to hire an attorney to help you preserve this important avenue of attacking the allegations.

Driving Under the Influence Charges under Florida Law

A DUI, or driving under the influence, arrest can often result when an individual operates their motor vehicle after they have consumed alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, street drugs or even prescription medication.

In Florida, the prosecutor can attempt to prove the criminal charge of DUI under two different theories. First, the prosecutor can attempt to prove that the driver's breath or blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit of .08. Under this theory, often called "per se" DUI it does not necessarily matter whether the driver is actually impaired or "drunk."

Under the second theory, the prosecutor can attempt to prove that the driver's "normal faculties" are impaired, even if not evidence of the driver's blood or breath alcohol exists. This may be the only theory available to the prosecutor in a DUI "refusal" case (whether this is the first or second DUI refusal, or even a subsequent refusal case).

At the Galigani Law Firm, we are experienced in representing individuals charged with DUI under either theory. Call our office to discuss a DUI arrest in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida, or the surrounding areas including Lake City in Columbia County, Starke in Bradford County, Macclenny in Baker County, Bronson in Levy County, Trenton in Gilchrist County, Titusville in Union County, and Ocala in Marion County, FL.

Types of DUI Offenses in Florida

Florida law provides for many different types of DUI charges. The punishments and penalties depending on the number of prior convictions, whether the incident caused or contributed to property damage or personal injury, whether a minor child was in the vehicle, and whether the breath or blood alcohol concentration was over the enhanced legal limit of .15.


Gainesville DUI Information Center


Back to Top

Vehicle Actual Physical Control (APC) in Florida

In order to be charged with a DUI offense in Florida, you must have been driving or in actual physical control (APC) of the vehicle at the time the offense occurred. This element is required for all drinking and driving criminal offenses, regardless if the individual has a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit or their normal faculties are impaired.

In actual physical control cases, the prosecutor may be required to prove that the individual was sitting in the driver's seat with the car running or with the keys at least in the ignition. If the keys are not in the ignition, then the prosecutor must usually prove that the driver has immediate and easy access to the keys because the keys were in easy reach or on the driver's person.


Back to Top

Florida's Legal Limit

Florida’s legal limit is a blood-alcohol level of .08%. This is the most alcohol by volume an individual can have in their system when having actual physical control of a vehicle before they will automatically be charged with a DUI offense. This does not mean you won’t be charged with an offense if you have a lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC), but once you cross the .08 threshold, you are considered per se driving under the influence.

Florida’s blood-alcohol level is measured by having .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or a breath-alcohol level of .08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath.

If an individual in Florida has a high blood-alcohol or breath-alcohol level of .15% or higher, they can receive greater punishments after a conviction, including lengthier prison or jail sentences and higher fines.


Back to Top

Per Se DUI Offense in Florida

Under Fla. Stat. § 316.193, a driver of a vehicle can automatically be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol if the driver has a breath or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, regardless of whether the driver was actually drunk or impaired. This type of DUI case is often called "per se" DUI.


Back to Top

DUI Offenses in Florida

According to Florida Statutes § 316.193, an individual can be charged with any of the following DUI offenses, including, but not limited to:

  • Driving Under the Influence – a first DUI is usually considered a second-degree misdemeanor. The charge requires a showing that the person was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle, was under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance, or other chemical substance, to the extent the driver's “normal faculties” were impaired. Alternatively, an individual can also be charged with DUI if the person was driving or in "actual physical control" of the vehicle with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher.

    Florida law defines the term "normal faculties" to mean control of the types of things a person does on a daily basis with little or no thought, including seeing, hearing, walking, talking, judging distances, making judgments, and controlling their movements.

  • An individual charged with a second DUI can be convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree. If an individual has been charged with three or more DUI offenses within 10 years of at least one previous conviction, they can be convicted of a felony DUI.
  • DUI with Property Damage – This offense can usually result in a misdemeanor of the first-degree conviction, and occurs when an individual drives a vehicle in a manner that causes or contributes to a crash that results in property damage or non-serious personal injury to another person.
  • DUI with Death or Serious Bodily Injury – This offense can result in a conviction of a felony of the first, second or third degree, and occurs when the alleged offender has APC of a vehicle, either has a BAC over the legal limit or their normal faculties are impaired by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes or contributes to causing death or serious bodily injury of another person.

Back to Top

Penalties for DUI Convictions in Florida

Penalties for a DUI conviction in Florida can be very severe and involve various types of punishment, including, but not limited to any of the following:

  • Jail or prison sentence, ranging anywhere from less than six months to 30 years,
  • Fines from $500 to $10,000,
  • Vehicle interlock device installation,
  • Probation reporting every month,
  • Community service hours,
  • Court costs and fees,
  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation, and/or
  • Substance abuse courses.

These punishments can vary depending on the number of prior DUI convictions an individual may have, whether the DUI offense involved death or serious bodily injury to another person, whether the DUI offense involved damage to another person’s property and the level of the individual’s BAC at the time of their arrest.


Back to Top

Defenses to a DUI Arrest in Gainesville

There are many defenses your experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to use in your particular situation to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. However, these defenses are not applicable in every situation, and it is important to consult with an attorney who will help you determine your best course of action.

Actual Physical Control – Your lawyer may be able to assert you were not in actual physical control of the vehicle at the time you were arrested and charged with driving under the influence. The prosecution has to be able to prove you had APC of the vehicle, but if you were not actually driving the car or an accident occurred, this element to a DUI offense may be more difficult to prove.

Chemical Testing – Your lawyer may be to show your blood, breath or urine test were faulty, and do not accurately show your BAC at the time you were charged with the DUI offense. For example, the test may be inconclusive, the test may have been mishandled or tainted, the person who administered the test was not legally permitted to do so, or the test did not show the alleged offender was under the substance at the time of arrest.

Procedural or Constitutional Violations - Other defenses to drinking and driving offenses in Florida can include constitutional violations, such as the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop your car, the arresting officer did not give you Miranda Warnings or the officer did not warn you of the consequences to refusing chemical tests.


Back to Top

Resources For Driving Under the Influence in Florida

Florida Statutes Online – This link is to section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes, which defines driving under the influence in Florida and the potential penalties for a conviction. The Florida Statutes contains all of the laws of Florida; Title 23 pertains to all of the state’s motor vehicle laws.

Alachua County DMV Guide – This Florida government website provides access to the state’s DUI laws, resources about Florida’s driver’s licenses and commercial driver’s licenses, information on how to register a vehicle in the state and a means to access an individual’s driving record in Florida.

Alachua County Clerk of the Court – The Clerk of the Court’s website provides access to online court records in Alachua County, resources about the community and court information, and miscellaneous information about Alachua County’s judicial system. The Alachua County Criminal Justice Center is located at:

220 S Main St
Gainesville, FL 32601
Phone: (352) 374-3636

Florida Highway Patrol – The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) regulates, controls, directs and patrols traffic on the state’s highways. This website provides information on traffic safety, access to crash reports, and miscellaneous links to traffic-related resources. A local FHP station is located at:

Florida Highway Patrol
6300 NW 13th St
Gainesville, FL 32653
Phone: (352) 955-3181

Mothers Against Drunk Driving – This national nonprofit organization aims to prevent individuals from drinking and driving, stop drunk driving, prevent accidents that can result from driving under the influence, and provides support to individuals who are victims of an alcohol-related accident.


Back to Top

Galigani Law Firm | Florida Driving Under the Influence Attorney

Contact the Galigani Law Firm today for a consultation about your drinking and driving offense throughout Alachua County in Florida. Dean Galigani is a knowledgeable Gainesville criminal defense attorney who will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome in your situation. For college students, this means representation in Florida college student disciplinary hearings related to DUI and underage 21 DUI offenses.

Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Gainesville, FL, at the Galigani Law Firm. Call (352) 375-0812 for a consultation about your alleged DUI defense throughout the counties in Florida, including Marion County, Levy County, Columbia County and Gilchrist County.