Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of many crimes regulated at the state level. Typical local 2023 second offense DUI penalties in every jurisdiction include suspension or revocation of the driver license, alcohol assessment or education, and fines upon a conviction.
All states impose harsher penalties for repeat offenders today, making it even more important to fight unfair second offense charges of DUI, DWI.
Recency of Prior Conviction
Many states take repeat DUI convictions more seriously if the initial conviction occurred less than five years in the past. They view this as a pattern of behavior that should be addressed to prevent future DUIs that can harm property, the driver, or other individuals.
A recent repeat DUI offense coupled with another driving infraction, such as transporting a child or exceeding the speed limit by 20 to 30 miles, can substantially increase the penalties. Additional consequences of multiple DUI convictions within a short time include skyrocketing auto, health, and life insurance rates and a tarnished name in the community.
Second DUI License Suspension
Most states suspend or revoke the driver license beginning with the first DUI conviction and increase the suspension period for subsequent convictions. For individuals convicted of second DUIs, driver license suspension or revocation period is typically one year. However, in Connecticut and Georgia, drivers convicted of a second DUI may lose their licenses for three years, which can severely limit their employability.
Other states average 2nd DUI license suspension length fall somewhere in the middle, with Arkansas, Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Washington imposing a two-year license suspension period for individuals convicted of a second DUI. Indiana, Minnesota, and Texas, on the other hand, impose a maximum license suspension period of 180 days. Arizona has a 90-day license suspension period for two-time DUI offenders.
Other Second DUI Penalties
Repeat offenders may also have their vehicles confiscated in some cases, and all convicted second-time DUI offenders will be required to install ignition interlock devices that prevent their cars from starting if blood-alcohol content exceeds a predetermined level. Other penalties include increasing periods of community service and thousands of dollars in fines. These penalties tend to be discretionary, so they vary widely between states.
Time in jail is the most severe penalty imposed on a DUI offender. Second-time convictions almost always require some time behind bars. If the driver injured or killed another individual, a lengthy period of incarceration may be imposed.
Anyone charged with a second DUI should consult an attorney through FightDUICharges.com to immediately begin building a strong defense. Preventing a second offense DUI conviction avoids harsh consequences, including time in jail.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.