It’s never a good idea to drive while you’re impaired, whether you’re impaired by alcohol or another substance. The penalties for driving while intoxicated can be significant, leading to fines and potentially the loss of your license.
If you have a first-offense DUI already on your record, then you should be particularly cautious about a second DUI accusation. Second offenses have much harsher penalties.
What you should know about a second-offense DUI
Second-offense DUIs have varied penalties depending on how soon they occur after the first DUI. Someone convicted of a second-offense DUI within five years of a previous offense may face a fine of $500 and be required to go to jail for at least 20 days, the mandatory minimum. Jail time may extend up to a year in length.
If the second offense happens within 10 years but longer than five years after the last DUI, then you may face similar penalties, but they are a little less severe. The fine is still a mandatory minimum fine of $500. Jail time, however, may be no less than a month. The mandatory minimum you have to serve in jail is 10 days, even if confinement is ordered for a month or longer.
What about enhanced penalties?
The above penalties are assuming that your blood alcohol content is less than 0.15%. If it was equal to or higher than .15% but less than .20%, then you may face an additional mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days. For a BAC over .20%, that minimum jail period is increased to 20 days.
Know your rights to fight back against DUI charges
If you’re accused of a DUI, know your rights. It’s necessary to get to know the possible penalties and how they could affect you if you are convicted.
There are ways to fight back against a DUI charge as well as ways to reduce the penalties or work on having the charge reduced or dropped. If you’re facing a DUI, don’t just accept that you’ll be convicted. You have an opportunity to build your own defense case and protect your rights.