Fines, driver license suspension, and jail time…anyone convicted of DUI may face these and other punishments. Drivers charged with multiple DUIs are subject to even harsher consequences, some of which hit their wallets. DUI is a crime associated with steep fines that increase with repeat offenses. Learn how much a second DUI might cost and how to fight the charge to avoid this financial damage.
DUI Fines Are High
Fines for DUI convictions are high compared to fines for many other infractions. DUI is a crime in every state and state law determines the consequences. States impose DUI fines of $500 to $2,000 for an initial DUI conviction plus costs to attend DUI education or treatment programs and charges associated with installation and maintenance of ignition interlock devices on vehicles.
Individuals convicted of a second DUI within a certain period of time face higher fines and penalties. The lookback period, or period of time within which a prior DUI conviction affects sentencing, varies by state. As one example, Florida has a lookback period of five years. Drivers convicted with two DUIs within that period are subject to fines and penalties of between $1,000 and $4,000. A second offense also affects fines associated with a third offense occurring within a ten-year period.
Pennsylvania penalizes two DUI convictions within ten years with a fine of $300 to $2,500 or $750 to $5,000 if blood-alcohol content (BAC) was between 0.10 and 0.159 percent. Drivers whose BAC exceeded 0.16 percent face fines of up to $10,000. Some states, including Colorado, do not have a lookback period. This means that any prior DUI counts as a previous offense no matter how long ago it occurred. Fines for a second DUI start at $1,000 and can be as high as $5,000.
Minimizing or Eliminating Fines
Fighting the charges with the help of an experienced DUI lawyer is the best way to reduce or wipe out DUI fines. Pleading not guilty at the DUI hearing is the only way to reduce DUI penalties. The attorney will introduce evidence and provide witnesses that plant reasonable doubt in the mind of the judge. If the judge throws out the case, fines are not imposed.
A lawyer with knowledge of DUI laws and experience in the local court system is the best choice. Use DUIRights.com to find this legal professional and request a free case review. If evidence causes the attorney to question the legitimacy of the charge, there is a possibility of avoiding a conviction and associated penalties.