Florida DUI Second Offense
The penalties for a first-offense DUI are strict because they are designed to deter drivers from driving under the influence in the future. As a result, a second-offense DUI conviction in the state of Florida carries even stricter penalties, intended to both curb future intoxicated driving and to punish the offender for breaking the same law for a second time.
Florida’s Look Back Period
The state of Florida has a look back period of five years for DUI convictions. Simply stated, if you are convicted of a second DUI within five years after your first DUI, the penalties you face will be enhanced dramatically. It is extremely important to work with an experienced DUI defense attorney if you are charged with a second offense DUI within that five-year look back period.
As with a first-offense DUI, a second-offense conviction carries the risk of jail time and hefty fines. There is no minimum jail term for a second DUI, but the maximum sentence you could receive is nine months. The terms of your jail sentence will be handed down by the judge. In addition to legal fees and court costs, you will also be required to pay a fine ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. You will lose your license for five years and your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days. If you qualify for a hardship license reinstatement, you will be required to attend Advanced DUI School and must have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, at your expense, for one year.
Second offense DUI penalties are increased if you have a blood alcohol content at or above 0.15%, or if a minor was in the vehicle at the time of your arrest. Your potential maximum jail sentence will increase to 12 months, and fines will range from $2,000 to $4,000. If you are eligible for a hardship license reinstatement, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed for two years, at your cost.
Aside from the criminal penalties associated with a second offense DUI, you may also be subject to administrative penalties from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. If you refused the state breath test during both of your DUIs, you could lose your license for up to 18 months. You have 10 days after your arrest to appeal a DMV license suspension.