Photo/Story Gallery 2002

DUI Legislation Signed by Governor Bush

Colonel Knight joined Governor Bush for the bill signing.~~Creates felony conviction for third offense; allows ignition interlock devices~~

On Monday, June 10, 2002, Governor Jeb Bush ceremonially signed into law a bill that increases the penalties for those who drive vehicles or vessel under the influence of alcohol. House Bill 1057 makes a third time conviction within 10 years a felony and requires that an ignition interlock device be placed on the vehicles of those who commit two or more DUIs.

Pictured: Colonel Chris Knight joined Governor Bush for the bill signing.

The bill, which was sponsored by Representative David Simmons of Altamonte Springs and Senator Locke Burt of Ormond Beach, also requires law enforcement officers to inform drivers that refusal to take a blood alcohol test will result in a first-degree misdemeanor if that driver has refused to take such a test in the past.

The current punishment for third time offenders is a first-degree misdemeanor and one-year probation, a minimum of 50 hours community service, up to a year in jail, a ten-day impoundment of the vehicle and a fine between $1,000 and $2,500. House Bill 1057 increases the punishment to a third-degree felony with up to five years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $5,000. It also provides that a fourth conviction, regardless of when the prior offenses occurred, will be charged with a third-degree felony. The law applies to both boaters and drivers.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will oversee and approve the installation of ignition interlock devices for those who commit a second or third DUI offense. The device must remain on the driver’s car one year for a second offense and two years for a third. The device will be installed at the driver’s expense. Current Florida law gives the courts the authority to order such devices as a condition of probation.