In Florida, DUI repeat offenders can face serious penalties including fines, license suspension, vehicle impoundment, and having to install an ignition interlock device (IID). Further, there is also mandatory jail time for motorists who are convicted of a second DUI in five years.
Penalties are further enhanced for a second-offense DUI if the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15% or more and caused an accident that resulted in property damage or injury, or if they had a minor as a passenger under the age of 18.
Board-certified DUI defense attorney Ben Stechschulte discusses the penalties for multiple DUI offenses in the state of Florida.
Consequences of Multiple DUI Offenses
Drivers in the State of Florida face DUI penalties when they operate a vehicle on public streets or the highway while impaired by over-the-counter drugs, prescriptions, illicit drugs, or alcohol.
The “look-back” period is the amount of time that DUI convictions stay on your record and determine whether a subsequent DUI will be punished as a second or third offense.
For sentencing purposes and determining fines, a DUI is counted as a second offense regardless of how long ago the prior DUI occurred. For other purposes, such as determining minimum jail time, there is a five-year look-back period.
DUI penalties may not all be criminal. When it comes to your car insurance, a DUI conviction in Florida can remain on your driving record for 75 years. This can lead to higher premiums or if you have multiple DUI arrests may mean that you can no longer get an insurance policy altogether.
Felony or Misdemeanor?
In the state of Florida, most second-offense DUIs are misdemeanors. However, any DUI can be charged as a third-degree felony if another person suffered serious bodily injury due to an accident with the intoxicated driver.
Multiple DUI Penalties
If you have been convicted of multiple DUIs, there are several penalties that you may incur. To help lessen these penalties or potentially get your case dismissed altogether, consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney like Ben Stechschulte about your unique case.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will suspend the license of a motorist convicted of a DUI with a BAC of .08% or more. The suspension lasts for one year if the driver’s license was previously suspended for a DUI.
Drivers who refuse to submit to BAC testing also face an administrative suspension of at least one year or 18 months with a prior refusal. An administrative suspension is possible even if a person is not convicted of a DUI in court.
For multiple DUI offenders, there is a minimum 10-day jail sentence for drivers with a prior DUI conviction within the last five years. The maximum possible jail sentence depends on the specific circumstances of the case.
These are the maximum jail terms for second offense DUIs:
- Nine months for a standard second DUI offense
- One year for a second DUI with a BAC of .15% or more
- One year for a second DUI with a minor passenger under 18
- One year for all DUIs (including second offenses) if an accident occurred involving property damage or minor injury
- Five years for all DUIs where an accident occurred involving serious bodily injury
A standard second DUI offense carries fines ranging from $1,000-$2,000. If this is a second DUI and your BAC was.15% or more, or you had a minor passenger under 18 in the vehicle, the fines can range from $2,000-$4,000.
For all DUIs where another person suffered serious bodily injury, fines can cost up to $5,000.
If a driver has a previous DUI conviction within the past five years, a second DUI conviction carries a license suspension of at least five years.
This suspension is separate from the administrative suspension we covered above. This does not mean that a driver will have to complete two suspensions as oftentimes, the suspensions will have some overlap.
Ignition Interlock Devices
IIDs are mandatory for at least one year for those convicted of a second-offense DUI. Further, the IID is installed at the driver’s expense.
If you are convicted of a second DUI within five years, your vehicle will be impounded for at least 30 days. The 30 days cannot overlap with the time that you spend in jail for the DUI conviction.
Potential Penalties for Third or Fourth DUI Offenses
In Florida, a third DUI conviction is considered a misdemeanor. However, if the third DUI takes place within 10 years of the previous convictions, it will be considered a third-degree felony and will carry heavy punishments.
There are extreme punishments for those who receive a fourth DUI conviction including the following mandatory penalties:
- Fines up to $5000.
- 5-year prison term
- Permanent license revocation.
- Probation period of up to 5 years.
- Impoundment every vehicle owned by the driver.
- IID installation every vehicle owned by the driver.
- Community service.
- 21-hour substance abuse course.
- Treatment in a substance abuse program.
Tampa Bay DUI Defense
If you have been arrested for a DUI with prior DUI convictions on your record, you need to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney to handle your case and minimize the consequences of this lapse of judgment.
Ben Stechschulte has the expertise to achieve the best outcome for you in your DUI case and will work to reduce your penalties, and in some cases, get the DUI charges dismissed.
If arrested for DUI, do not delay. Call Stechschulte Nell Law Firm today—813-280-1244.