Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Florida. When individuals continue to make the same mistake, the consequences can become increasingly severe.
Repeat DUI convictions in the Sunshine State and the potential ramifications depend on the number of convictions.
Costly fines and suspension
Someone’s first DUI offense in Florida carries penalties that include fines, probation, community service and license suspension. They may have to attend DUI school and have their vehicle impounded. This first conviction serves as a warning to highlight the importance of safe driving.
The stakes get higher for those who find themselves convicted of a second DUI offense. They may face increased fines, longer license suspension and a mandatory jail sentence. DUI fines range from $500 to $5,000 in Florida. Completing a substance abuse treatment program is also mandatory at this stage.
The consequences become even more drastic for a third DUI conviction. The fines continue to increase, and the state may revoke the individual’s driver’s license for a long period. Probation time extends, and mandatory jail time becomes a significant part of the sentence. The state may classify the individual as a habitual offender, which has lasting implications for their driving record.
A fourth DUI conviction is a game-changer. It is a felony offense, which means the offender will face severe fines and also the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. The revocation of their driver’s license is nearly guaranteed, and the “habitual offender” label becomes a permanent scar on their record.
Impoundment and ignition interlock devices
Besides the escalating penalties, repeat DUI offenders may have their vehicles impounded. Alternatively, they may have to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. This requires the driver to pass a breath test before starting their vehicle, ensuring they are not under the influence.
Understanding the seriousness of these repercussions helps prevent further DUI convictions and promotes responsible, sober driving.