Third DUI Offense

Florida DUI policy is a great illustration of the Legislature’s lack of tolerance for repeat DUI offenses. While a first-DUI offense positions an individual to potentially negotiate a DUI offense down to a “wet reckless” charge, subsequent charges increase in severity as they are accumulated.

Moreover, first and second DUI offenses have shorter lookback periods, whereas a third or subsequent DUI charge has a longer lookback period and may become felony charges. With a third DUI offense, the “look back” period –the length of time for which an older DUI arrest can be counted against an offender –is ten years.

The words “habitual” and “repeat” come to mind, and alleged offenders face the possibility of longer sentences and steeper fines.

Attorney for Third DUI Charge in Pensacola, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI offense for the third time in Pensacola, Florida, particularly if the charge was in Escambia County, or Santa Rosa, County, Florida, contact The Law Office of James M. Burns.

Our Attorney has been practicing law for more than twenty years and is dedicated to fighting for the rights of criminal defendants.

The Law Office of James M. Burns is centrally located in Pensacola, Florida, and we take cases throughout Milton, Perdido Key, Fort Walton Beach, Pace, and Navarre, Florida.

Call (850) 457-6002 now to schedule a free one-on-one consultation with Attorney James Burns.


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Third DUI Charges in Florida

In order to be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Florida, in violation of Fla. Stat. § 316.193, the prosecution must show the following elements, beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That the individual was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within Florida; and
  • That the individual had a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more or was under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance; and when affected to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired.

The “lookback” period for a third DUI offense is ten years. Therefore, all prior DUI convictions that had occurred up to ten years before the DUI offense being charged could be accumulated and used to enhance the defendant’s penalties.

A DUI offense is generally charged as a misdemeanor; thus, if the prosecution of Pensacola decides to file felony charged for a third DUI offense, it has 21 days to do so.


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Penalties Before the DUI

When a DUI occurs more than ten (10) years from the date of the prior DUI conviction, then it could be prosecuted as a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony is penalized as follows:

  • Up to five (5) years in prison;
  • Up to $5,000 fines;
  • Up to one year of driver’s license suspension;
  • A minimum of two years of ignition interlock device placement (IID);
  • Vehicle Impoundment for 90 days; and
  • DUI School.

Penalties After the DUI “Lookback” Period

If a third DUI conviction occurred more than ten years after the date of the previous DUI offense, then the conviction may be penalized as a first-degree misdemeanor rather than a felony. The penalties for a DUI after the “lookback” period are as follows:

  • Up to 12 months in jail;
  • Up to $5,000 in fines;
  • Up to one year driver’s license suspension;
  • DUI School;
  • Vehicle Impoundment for 90 days;
  • A minimum of two years of ignition interlock device placement (IID).

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Additional Resources

Escambia County DMV Guide – Visit the Florida DMV for Escambia County for more information about the services provided by the Escambia County DMV Office or the Clerk of Court. The Clerk of Court delivers multiple types of services, including handling civil and criminal court services, bail bonds, boating and fishing citation, traffic citations, marriage licenses, and much more.

Florida Statute §316.193 – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full legislative language used to charge a first, second, or third offense DUI charge.

Reinstating License After DUI – Visit the Florida DMV for more information about the reinstatement process or for how to apply for hardship for temporary use of your license for activities that are work or business related.


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Find a Lawyer for a Third DUI in Escambia County, FL

If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges for the third time, speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately. Our attorney will fight to get the best possible resolution of your case.

Our office is located in Pensacola, Florida, and we accept cases throughout Escambia County and Santa Rosa County, Florida.

Call The Law Office of James M. Burns at (850) 457-6002 now to schedule a one-on-one, no obligations, consultation.

This article was last updated on November 2, 2017.