Florida DUI Look-Back Period

A look-back period, sometimes known as a “washout period,” is an amount of time a previous infraction can be applied to, and thus increase the penalties of, a new offense. The State of Florida has a look-back period of five years for DUIs, meaning that a second DUI within a period of five years from a first arrest or a third DUI within 10 years will result in enhanced sentencing. Unlike many other states, Florida’s look-back period requires that all DUI convictions remain on your record and may be reviewed in sentencing subsequent convictions. Infractions that occur within the look-back period, however, will result in longer jail sentences and harsher drivers license suspensions.

Look-Backs and Subsequent DUIs: Enhanced Penalties

The punishments for DUIs that occur within the five-year look-back period are more costly, in terms of jail time, the duration of your license suspension and financial resources. Working with an experienced and qualified DUI defense attorney

A second-offense DUI carries with it a mandatory 10-day jail sentence. If your blood alcohol content, or BAC, was between .08% and .15%, your maximum jail term will be nine months. If your BAC was over .15% or if there was a minor in the vehicle, you may be sentenced to up to one year in jail. Regardless of your BAC, your license will be suspended for five years and your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days. You will be able to apply for a hardship license after serving one year of your revocation if you have completed DUI School and any recommended treatment. You will be responsible for fines ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 and will have to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for one to two years, depending on your BAC.

A third-offense DUI within 10 years of your second conviction will be charged as a third degree felony. You will be required to spend a mandatory 30 days behind bars and may be sentenced to up to one year. You will also be responsible for fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on your BAC and/or the presence of a minor in your vehicle at the time of the incident. Your vehicle will be impounded for 90 days and your license will be suspended for 10 years. After completing two years of your license suspension, you will be able to apply for a hardship license reinstatement, pending a completion of DUI School and any recommended treatment. Once your license has been reinstated, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for two years.

If you are convicted of or plead guilty to a fourth offense DUI, your license will be suspended for life and you will have no opportunity to apply for reinstatement of any kind. You will face a minimum fine of $2,000 and may be sentenced to up to five years in jail.