Third DUI Offense

Third DUI Offense

The third arrest for driving under the influence can result in severe sanctions, including a 10-year suspension of your driver's license. These cases can be charged as a felony if the arrest occurred within 10 years of any prior DUI conviction. The matters should be taken seriously, and hiring an attorney within the first 10 days after the arrest is important for several reasons.

Your attorney will need to demand a formal review hearing within 10 days of the arrest. In addition, your attorney should contact the State Attorney's Office requesting the office provide any evidence in mitigation that may convince the prosecutor to file the case as a misdemeanor instead of a felony. The sooner you act after a DUI arrest the better opportunities you have to fight the charges.

Tallahassee Third DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with a third DUI, contact a Tallahassee DUI defense attorney at . The attorney will be able to help you through the process and discuss what you need to do today to fight the case. The attorneys have years of experience in a variety of DUI cases, and they can help you make the best decisions for your future.

Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your defense options. Pumphrey Law represent adults and juveniles throughout Leon County and the surrounding areas in North Florida's Big Bend region including Tallahassee, Crawfordville, Bristol, Quincy, Monticello and nearby areas.


Information About Third DUI in Florida


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Florida Driver's License Suspension Post DUI Arrest

After a DUI arrest you only have 10 days to request a DMV formal review hearing. At the formal review hearing, your attorney can subpoena witnesses and present evidence. If the arresting officer or the breath test operator fails to appear at the hearing, then the suspension will be invalidated. Your attorney might also be able to convince the hearing officer to invalidate the suspension for other reasons including a lack of evidence or inconsistencies in the evidence.

The hearing is entirely separate from the criminal case, which means you have the chance to win one even if you do not win the other.

If you do not request a hearing within 10 days of your arrest, your driver's license will be suspended for either 12 months or 18 months, depending on whether you submitted to the breath test or not and whether you have previously refused to submit to a breath test.

  • Breath Test: If you blew over the legal limit of 0.08, a 12-month suspension would be imposed for the third DUI. No hardship license would be permitted during the period.
  • First Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test: If you refused to submit to a chemical test and none of the prior offenses involved a refusal, a 12-month suspension will be imposed with no opportunity to obtain a hardship license during the period.
  • Second Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test: If you refused to submit to a chemical test and at least one of the prior offenses involved a refusal, an 18-month suspension will be imposed with hardship license during the period.

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Minimum Mandatory Punishments for Third DUI

The penalties for a third driving under the influence offense depend on whether any prior offense occurred within 10 years.

The DMV still may impose the suspension period for such an offense even if the prosecutor does not treat the case as a third DUI for sentencing purposes. A prior offense can include any DUI, boating under the influence or alcohol-related driving offense from another state, such as OVI or DWI.


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Florida Law on Third DUI Outside of 10 Years

Under Florida law, if a prior driving under the influence conviction occurred more than 10 years before the most recent arrest, then the offense can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor with the following minimum mandatory provisions.

  • Jail Time: The court must impose at least 30 days in jail, with at least 48 hours being served consecutively. The maximum statutory limit is 12 months in jail.
  • Driver license revocation periods: The court must impose a driver's license revocation period of between 180 days and up to 12 months.
  • Probation: The court must impose up to 12 months probation.
  • Fine: The court must impose a fine of at least $2,000 and up to $5,000. If the breath or blood alcohol result is 0.15 or higher or if a minor child was in the car then a fine of at least $4,000 must be imposed.
  • Impoundment of vehicle: The court must order the defendant's vehicles are impounded for 90 days after any period of incarceration is served.
  • DUI school: The court must order DUI school, which would normally require the driver to complete a Level II class which includes substance abuse evaluation and requires completion of any recommended follow-up treatment
  • Ignition interlock device: The court will impose at least a 24 month period that requires the driver to install the ignition interlock device

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Penalties for Third DUI Within 10 Years

Under Florida law, if the third DUI occurs within 10 years of any prior driving under the influence conviction, then the offense can be charged as a third-degree felony. Felony charges carry steep penalties, including:

  • Incarceration: Mandatory imprisonment of at least 30 days with at least 48 hours being served consecutively. The statutory maximum sentence is five years in Florida State Prison.
  • Driver's License Revocation:
    • Any third offense not within 10 years of second conviction will result in a 6-month to one-year revocation. However, if the last two of the convictions fall within five years, a five-year revocation will apply. During that period, the defendant is not eligible for a hardship license.
    • A third offense within 10 years of second conviction will result in a 10-year revocation. The defendant must serve two years of this revocation period before being eligible to apply for a hardship license. To be eligible, the driver must complete DUI school, any recommended treatment and a favorable recommendation from the Special Supervision Services Program. If given the approval to reinstate early for hardship, the defendant must present this approval to the driver's license office. The defendant must remain in the Special Supervision Services Program for the duration of the revocation period to retain the hardship license.
  • Fine: The court can impose a fine of up to $5,000. If the breath or blood alcohol reading was at 0.15 or above, or if a minor child was in the automobile, the court must impose a fine of not less than $2,000 or more than $5,000.
  • Vehicle impoundment: The court must order the defendant's vehicle be impounded for 90 days unless the defendant can show the impoundment would present a hardship to a family member.
  • Ignition interlock device: The court must impose the ignition interlock device for at least 24 months.
  • DUI school: The court will require the driver complete DUI school as a condition of probation. The school includes both classroom instruction, a substance abuse evaluation and completion of any recommended follow-up treatment.

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Finding an Attorney for a Third DUI in Tallahassee, FL

A third DUI is a serious offense that can have long-lasting repercussions on your life, long after the sentence has been served. Obtaining an experienced Tallahassee drunk driving defense attorney early in your case may make a huge difference in how it is resolved.

Call (850) 681-7777 for a free consultation.

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Don Pumphrey Jr.
Donald Pumphrey Jr.

Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.

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