According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 1 in 3 DUI incidents involved repeat offenders. These individuals are also more likely to be involved in fatal vehicle accidents.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drunk driving is the single biggest cause of accident-related deaths in individuals between ages 5 and 34. This is very alarming, and a big reason why individuals who have been convicted of drunk driving need to stop committing repeat DUI offenses. If you happen to have repeat DUI offenses you may want to contact a criminal defense lawyer.
If you haven’t been convicted, don’t join the list of felons who cause carnages on the roadways. If you must drink, then be prepared to hail a taxi cab/Uber/Lyft home afterward, or have a designated driver take you back to your location.
Driving drunk in Florida already attracts pretty steep penalties if you’re a first time offender. In fact, Florida is actively cracking down on DUI offenders and fining them heavily. The state’s punishment is one of the toughest in the country.
For instance, first time offenders are likely to:
- Pay a $500-1,000 fine if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is o.08, but less than 0.15
- Pay a $1,000-$2,000 fine if your BAC exceeds 0.15, and/or you had a minor in the vehicle while you were driving drunk
- Get 8 hours to 6 months with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.15
- Get up to 9 months in jail with a BAC exceeding 0.15
- Get their vehicles impounded for ten days
- Get a 50-hour mandatory community service sentence
- Be on a 12-month probation
- Get your driver’s license suspended for between 6 and 12 months –at least 3 years if someone suffers serious injury because of your actions
If a victim suffers serious personal injury or dies as a result, the charge will be upgraded to a felony DUI instead of a misdemeanor. As you can see, the state takes this very seriously.
Penalties for Repeat DUI Offenses
If you thought the punishment for a first time offender was tough, try that for repeat DUI offenses. These punishments are becoming more severe, as the government seeks to crack down on the number of DUI related accidents and fatalities within the state of Florida.
These steep measures are put in place to serve as a deterrent to other potential repeat DUI offenders in the state. Depending on their frequency of occurrence, people guilty of repeat DUI offenses are likely to face the following penalties:
- $1,000 – $2,000 if BAC is between 0.08 and 0.15 ($2,000-5,000 if this is the 3rd or 4th time). If it’s greater than 0.15, and/or there was a minor in the car, fine will be between $2,000 and $4,000 (minimum of $4,000 for 3rd and 4th offenders)
- Offenders get 9 months jail time (12 months if BAC exceeds 0.15) if victims suffered significant personal injury or there was a crash. 3rd and 4th offenders will spend up to 5 years in jail
- 10-day jail time if the second incident happened within 5 years of the first one. 90 days if it’s the 3rd or 4th incident
- Driver’s license revoked for up to 5 years -5 to 10 years for 3rd time offenders and lifetime revocation for 4th time offenders
- Offenders face 6months to 1 year probation –up to 5 years for 3rd and 4th time offenders
- Vehicle will be impounded for 30 days -90 days for 3rd and 4th repeat DUI offenses
- Alcohol treatment required by the judge at their discretion
- Offenders will have to attend a DUI school or substance abuse, classes
- DUI goes on your driving record
- Installation of Ignition Interlock Device (IID). The device requires the offender to blow into it before the vehicle will start. BAC levels higher than the legal limits mean the vehicle won’t start.
- Financial restitution to the affected parted in the event of property damage, and/or physical injury and harm
Please note that these terms are only for repeat DUI offenses happening the second time. The penalties for 3rd, 4th and more DUI’s are much steeper and very hard to fight in court.
What Can You Do if You’re Guilty of Repeat DUI Offenses in Florida?
The truth is even just one DUI is bad enough. Repeat DUI offenses? That’s worse. And the courts are not happy with the spate of injuries and fatalities associated with it.
This is why if you find yourself in a position where you’re charged with repeat DUI offenses, you need to hire the services of a competent DUI lawyer in Florida. Repeat DUI offenses are usually categorized as felonies in Florida. This is a permanent stain that stays on your record for life.
We really don’t need to explain the damaging impact of that on your life, career, job prospects, ability to get loans and much more. So, talk to an experienced DUI attorney in Florida to see what your options are.
Final Thoughts on Repeat DUI Offenses in Florida
At the end of the day, drunk driving isn’t smart. If anything, it’s dangerous and puts many people at risk. This is why every state in the country is doing everything within its powers to crack down on it.
Be smart by avoiding any repeat DUI offenses. The buzz you get isn’t worth the lifelong issues you have to deal with.
People have had their loan applications turned down, their dream careers slip between their fingers, and their lives turned upside down just because they drank a little too much alcohol.
Many states have started keeping public records of convicted drunk driving felons. It might not look like much right now, but wait until you miss a lifetime opportunity just because you have a DUI conviction on your record.
And if you have a need for a competent DUI lawyer in Florida to help with your repeat DUI offenses, feel free to call Kibbey | Wagner on (772) 444-7000 for a free case evaluation session.
Our attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience dealing with these types of cases and will be willing to provide legal advice and representation where possible.