All drivers understand the dangers of drunk driving. Illegal in all 50 states, Florida law prohibits driving under the influence and rules harsh punishments for offenders. First-time offenses may result in jail time, large fines and a suspended license. Multiple offenses within a set number of years will result in increased penalties.
Understanding the penalties incurred from multiple DUI offenses can help those charged protect their rights in court and avoid similar mistakes in the future.
Increasing penalties for multiple DUIs
Those charged with a DUI may face varying degrees of penalties. The Florida courts will examine the circumstances of the offense and the arrest and administer punishments befitting the crime. For example, driving while intoxicated and with a minor in the car will increase criminal penalties. Additionally, causing an accident resulting in serious injury or death could result in manslaughter charges.
Penalties increase for multiple offenses as well:
1st offense: Offenders face up to 6 months in jail, $1,000 in fines, license revocation of at least 180 days, 50 hours community service, one year of probation, and even vehicle impounding.
2nd offense: Committing a second DUI in five years could result in a nine-month jail sentence, $2,000 in fines, five-year license revocation and suspension upon reinstatement, and an ignition interlock device (IID) for two years.
3rd offense: Drivers who commit a third DUI offense face a year in jail, $5,000 in fines and an IID for two years. If the third offense comes with ten years of the previous, offenders face felony charges, including five years in jail and ten years of license revocation.
Facing a DUI charge? Consider legal representation
Those facing a DUI charge for their first, second or third DUI find more success building a defense and reducing sentences with a local attorney familiar with Florida’s DUI laws. A lawyer can assess one’s case, work with the judge on alternative sentencing options and help protect one’s rights.