A second DUI is not a badge of honor. It is a repeat criminal offense with more severe penalties. Though this is a serious situation, avoid the inclination to panic. The recommended approach is to learn more about the consequences of this infraction and consult a reputable DUI lawyer by completing an online DUI arrest evaluation form on DUIRights.com.
Second DUI Penalties
Penalties for a second DUI vary by state but are usually more serious than punishments for an initial offense. First-time offenders may have their licenses suspended for one or several months but second-time offenders will usually lose their licenses for at least a year. In some states, offenders may be eligible for a hardship exception that allows them to drive for business purposes only. However, if the second DUI occurs within five years of the first, their licenses may be suspended for five years or longer.
Some states require first-time offenders to spend at least a night in jail. Someone convicted of a second DUI within five years of an initial DUI conviction may have to stay in jail for between ten days and an entire year. Jail time is typically considered the harshest punishment for a DUI and for good reason, as many jails have deplorable conditions.
First-time offenders do not usually suffer any consequences related to their vehicles but second-time offenders may find their vehicles impounded for approximately 30 days if their DUIs occurred within five years of each other. States that require installation of an ignition interlock device that measures blood-alcohol content (BAC) may impose longer-term installations for second-time offenders. If BAC does not fall within predetermined levels, the vehicle ignition will not start.
Second-time DUI penalties may also include steeper fines than first-time offenders must pay. Fines for a second DUI typically range from $1,000 to $4,000, which can put a serious dent in household finances. Drivers convicted of a second DUI may be required to attend advanced level DUI school and substance abuse counseling and could be placed on probation for as long as one year.
Even though this is a second-time offense, law enforcement officials do make mistakes and some even target these individuals. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the situation with a DUI lawyer to learn whether there is hope of fighting the charge and winning. An experienced DUI attorney may be able to have the case discharged so the individual can live a normal life.