Lookback Period for a Florida DUI

Were you convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) under Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes? If so, it’s important for you to know that DUIs are considered “priorable offenses” for sentencing purposes. This means that if you’re convicted of DUI and you’re later convicted of DUI again, you face enhanced penalties for a second or subsequent offense but fortunately, there are limits to this rule.

When it comes to enhanced penalties for a second DUI, what matters is the chronological age of your first DUI conviction. In other words, if the old DUI has reached a certain age and you are convicted of a second DUI offense, it may count as your first DUI for sentencing and penalty purposes.

This is referred to as the “lookback period” in Florida but it’s also called the “washout period.” The lookback period refers to how long the state has to count a previous DUI against a defendant for enhanced penalty purposes.

Let’s take a look at driving under the influence under Sec. 316.193. Under this section, you’re considered to be driving under the influence if you are driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle in Florida when you are under the influence of any of the following to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • A chemical substance
  • Any controlled substance

Florida imposes harsher penalties for second and third DUI offenses. And with each DUI conviction, the defendant faces greater fines, a longer Ignition Interlock requirement, a greater license suspension, and a lengthier jail sentence among other penalties.

First DUI Offense

  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Up to $2,000 in fines
  • 180 days to one year license suspension
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for up to six months

Second DUI Offense

  • Up to 9 months in jail
  • Up to $4,000 in fines
  • Maximum 5-year license suspension (with a prior DUI within 5 years)
  • Ignition Interlock Device for up to two years

Third DUI Offense

  • Third-degree felony (if within 10 years of second DUI)
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Up to 10-year license suspension
  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Ignition Interlock Device for up to two years

Fourth DUI Offense

  • Minimum $2,000 fine
  • Up to 5 years in jail
  • Lifetime driver license suspension

Second DUI: 5-Year Lookback Period

As you can see, the penalties are clearly worse for a second DUI than they are for a first offense. But fortunately, Florida is fairly lenient in regards to its lookback period; some states have double the lookback period. A first DUI will only count against you for five years. After a first DUI is five-years-old, a second DUI will act like a first.

For example, let’s say you were convicted of DUI in 2012, and you’re convicted of DUI again in 2018. Since your first DUI would be six-years-old, the lookback period would be expired and the 2018 DUI would be treated as your first, meaning you’d face the penalties for a first DUI offense, not a second.

On the other hand, suppose you were convicted of DUI in 2014 and you were convicted of DUI a second time in 2018. Well, your first DUI was less than five years ago; therefore, you’d face enhanced penalties for a second DUI offense. Your first DUI wasn’t old enough for the courts to give you a break.

Up until this point, we’ve focused on the lookback period relating to first and second DUIs. The lookback period for a third DUI is 10 years as opposed to five. So, if you were arrested for your third DUI and your second DUI conviction was in the previous 10 years, you would face third DUI penalties, which are harsher than second DUI penalties.

Facing misdemeanor or felony DUI charges in Tampa? Contact Thomas & Paulk, P.A. to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our former prosecutors.