The Legal Implications of Repeat DUI Offenders and Accidents

The Legal Implications of Repeat DUI Offenders and Accidents

The Legal Implications of Repeat DUI Offenders and Accidents

It is reasonable to expect that, with any crime, increasing the number of offenses will increase the consequences of those actions. However, these fluctuate wildly between National and State law, especially with driving under the influence (DUI) or while intoxicated (DWI) offenses.

To properly discuss the legal implications of repeat DUI offenders and accidents, we are going to look both at how the law is managed across the United States, as well as the specifics involved in DUI offenses in our home state of Florida, where our legal team is registered to serve as legal counsel.

National DUI and DWI Laws

The penalties for DUIs and DWIs fluctuate on a state-by-state basis, but typically the punishment given out by the State involves incarceration, jail time, or monetary fines ranging between a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. Offenders may also be subject to license suspensions, probation, the impounding or immobilizing of their vehicle, or forced participation in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.

Across the United States, penalties for DUI or DWI cases increase if the driver is a repeat offender. These penalties can be further extended if the defendant refuses a breathalyzer or blood test, or if those tests yield a high blood alcohol content or BAC.

Additionally, repeat offenders may be required to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. These devices require you to complete a breathalyzer test in order to start your vehicle. If the driver blows a high enough BAC, then the vehicle will not start. Some devices require regular testing throughout the journey to prove that the driver is not actively drinking alcohol while behind the wheel.

Florid DUI and DWI Laws

Laws can fluctuate wildly between states. Some states consider driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) as separate offenses, while others treat them as interchangeable terms. That is why it is so important to look at your State’s individual DUI laws to understand how they may impact your case.

In Florida, a 0.08 BAC is deemed legally intoxicated, with 0.15 BACs leading to enhanced DUI charges. These numbers are calculated through a variety of DUI detection methods. One of the most famous types are field sobriety tests, where the police officer tests your balancing skills by asking you to walk in a straight line or stand on one leg. They may also look for physical indications like slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or an alcohol smell. There are also breath and chemical tests where they may take a breath, blood, or urine samples to determine BAC more accurately.

Breath alcohol tests are unique in the State of Florida since local drivers are not allowed to refuse to take the test. According to Florida law, getting behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle is considered your consent to be tested should your driving be deemed risky to other drivers.

How Florida Manages Multiple DUI Convictions

According to Florida law, the legal consequences related to DUI and DWI convictions increase with each conviction. The consequences are also dependent on how much time has passed between convictions.

With the first conviction, it is important to your case if others were physically harmed due to the drunk driver’s recklessness. If no bodily harm was caused, then the driver may be given up to six months in prison (although judges will often be lenient for first-time offenders) and a fine of between $500 and $1,000. There may also be administrative penalties, such as a license suspension between 180 days to one year. If physical harm was inflicted, there is a three-year minimum license suspension period.

If the driver has a second conviction, they can be incarcerated for between 10 days and nine months. They can also be charged a fine ranging between $1,000 and $2,000. If this second conviction was within five years of the first offense, there is an additional required license suspension of five years.

If the third conviction is within ten years of a prior conviction, then there may be felony charges. Additionally, there can be a mandatory imprisonment period of 30 days and 48 hours required in confinement. The driver can also be charged a $2,000 to $5,000 fine and have a required minimum 10-year license revocation. If this third conviction was over ten years after previous convictions, then the imprisonment can be up to 12 months.

Lastly, a fourth conviction brings with it a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of no less than $2,000. If a driver has been convicted a fourth time, then their driver’s license will be permanently revoked.

Talk to an Attorney if You Experienced Repeat DUI Arrests

Whether you are dealing with your first DUI case or your fourth, you need a legal team to represent you and get you the best outcome possible. Our team at The Umansky Law Firm is here to help you with your criminal defense case. Contact us today to get the legal defense you deserve.

The Legal Implications of Repeat DUI Offenders and Accidents