A third arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) offense in Florida results in serious criminal charges that are often aggressively prosecuted. State law allows for a longer “look back” or “washout” period—the amount of time under which previous drunk driving convictions can be counted against alleged offenders—when a person has three or more DUI arrests.
Third DUI arrests can be felony offenses in Florida. Convictions can carry very steep penalties that include several long-term consequences in addition to any prison terms or fines that alleged offenders may be sentenced to.
If you were arrested for an alleged DUI offense anywhere in Broward County and you have two prior drunk driving convictions, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. defends clients accused of drunk driving in Margate, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, and many other surrounding areas of South Florida.
Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale who will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties. Call (954) 716-8538 today to have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.
An alleged offender commits the crime of DUI when he or she drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle within Florida and is either under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance, or any controlled substance, when affected to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired, or has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. Whereas Florida Statute § 316.193(6)(b) establishes a five-year look back or washout period for prior DUI convictions when an alleged offender is facing criminal charges for an alleged second DUI, Florida Statute § 316.193(6)(c) imposes enhanced penalties for alleged offenders convicted of third DUI offenses within 10 years of prior convictions.
It is important to remember that even DUI convictions in other states can be counted against alleged offenders. If one of the prior drunk driving convictions occurred within 10 years of the most recent arrest, an alleged offender can face enhanced criminal charges.
Depending on the dates of the prior convictions, a third DUI can be a first-degree misdemeanor or third-degree felony. A prosecutor has 21 days to decide which types of charges he or she will file.
Certain consequences of a third DUI conviction are the same, regardless of whether the alleged offender is facing misdemeanor or felony charges. Some of the punishments that people can receive in either type of case include:
If an alleged offender is convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor third DUI offense, he or she can be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail and have his or her driver’s license suspended for up to one year. When a person is convicted of a third-degree felony third DUI, that individual can be sentenced to as much as five years in prison and have his or her driver’s license revoked for 10 years with no restricted license eligibility for first two years.
Impaired Driving Task Force | United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse — The United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse (UWBCCSA) identifies itself as “a broad based substance use/abuse coalition dedicated to reducing substance use/abuse and all its devastating consequences on individuals, families, and communities.” The Impaired Driving Task Force works to reduce the rate of impaired driving incidents in Broward County through policy, public awareness and community education. You can also find information about the task force’s next meeting, view meeting notes, and learn more about other UWBCCSA teams.
Impaired Driving Task Force
Broward Sheriff's Office Safety Building
2601 W. Broward Blvd., 5th Floor
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
Risk of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Recidivism Among First Offenders and Multiple Offenders — In May 2010, the American Journal of Public Health publishes this study that sought to determine the statewide impact of having prior alcohol-impaired driving violations of any type on the rate of first occurrence or recidivism among drivers with no, one, two, or three or more prior violations in Maryland. The authors analyzed more than 100 million driver records from 1973 to 2004. The study concluded:
The recidivism rate among first offenders more closely resembles that of second offenders than of nonoffenders. Men and women are at equal risk of recidivating once they have had a first violation documented. Any alcohol-impaired driving violation, not just convictions, is a marker for future recidivism.
Were you recently arrested for your third drunk driving offense anywhere in South Florida? You should not make any kind of statement to authorities without legal representation. Contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. as soon as possible.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell represent residents of and visitors to communities throughout Broward County, including Wilton Manors, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Tamarac, Weston, and many others. You can have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (954) 716-8538 or complete an online contact form.
Click here to learn what Meltzer & Bell can do for you regarding your DUI by visiting our traffic department.