What Happens When You Get a 2nd DUI in Florida

You could pay up to $2,000, go to jail for up to nine months, and lose your license for five years after a second DUI in Florida.
Written by Jasmine Kanter
Edited by R.E. Fulton
A second
DUI in Florida
is punishable by a maximum fine of $2,000, imprisonment for up to nine months, and a driver’s license revocation for up to five years.
  • Between your first DUI and your second, the maximum fine doubles, the license revocation period multiplies by five, and you’ll serve a minimum of 10 days in jail.
  • Your potential defenses include an illegal traffic stop, flawed test results, or lack of probable cause on the part of the arresting officer, but you’ll need legal representation to make use of them.
  • You can resume driving in as little as one year with a hardship license, but your
    Florida car insurance
    rates will be higher than ever.

Penalties for a second DUI are harsher in Florida

Getting arrested a second time for
driving under the influence (DUI)
of alcoholic, chemical, or controlled substances carries harsh penalties in Florida. Testing positive for a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% will automatically suspend your driver’s license for one year.
Between your first and second DUI convictions, the process of posting bail, requesting a hearing, and attending trial remain the same. However, there are several differences between first-time and second-time DUI penalties:
  • DUI charges: Upon your second DUI arrest, you’ll be charged with an unclassified misdemeanor.
  • Fines: With a prior conviction, the fines for a Florida DUI increase to $1,000-$2,000.
  • Imprisonment: While your first offense might not have resulted in jail time, your second DUI offense carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days (and a maximum of nine months).
  • Impoundment: With a prior DUI conviction, your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days.
  • License revocation: Unlike your first time, a second-time DUI will suspend your driver’s license for five years.
It doesn’t matter if you committed your second DUI within five years of a prior conviction or fifty; the penalties remain the same.

An aggravated DUI will double your fines

The Florida Statutes define an “aggravated DUI” as driving impaired with an underage passenger or a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of  0.15% or higher. If a judge adds an aggravated judgment to your criminal case, it’ll double the fines you have to pay and the length of time you have to keep an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle. It could also extend the time you spend in prison by three months.

BAL limits are stricter for minor and underage drivers

Florida drivers under the age of 21 who are caught driving impaired—or with a blood, urine, or breath alcohol level of 0.02% or more—are guilty of a DUI.
If you’re under 18, the arresting law enforcement officer might even take you directly to the county addictions receiving facility.
As above, you can be stopped, tested, and have your license confiscated. Here are the special conditions for underage DUI drivers with a prior conviction on record:
  • Underage drivers receive a temporary permit that only becomes valid 12 hours after their arrest, but it still lasts for 10 days.
  • Driving with a BAL of 0.05% or more will require you to complete a substance abuse evaluation and course before your license suspension will be lifted.
  • If you’re 19 years of age or less, your parents or guardian will be notified of the results of your evaluation.
  • You must wait a minimum of 30 days, complete DUI school, install an IID, and take a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course to qualify for a hardship license.

Property damages, personal injuries, serious bodily injuries, or death carry felony and misdemeanor charges

Depending on the consequences, you could face additional penalties for causing a car accident while driving impaired.
Collision resulting in personal injury or property damages
Collision resulting in serious bodily injury
Collision resulting in death
First-degree misdemeanor
Third-degree felony
DUI manslaughter (second-degree felony)
Up to $1,000
Up to $5,000
Up to $10,000
Up to one year
Up to five years
Up to 15 years
License revocation
Five years
At least three years
Hours of community service
120 hours
120 hours
Driver improvement course
Unless you have zero prior convictions relating to drunk driving, causing a car accident that results in death makes you ineligible for a hardship license. If it’s your second DUI charge, you’ll lose your driving privileges for life, no exceptions.

Two DUIs lead to permanent disqualification for commercial drivers in Florida

You could lose your
Florida commercial driver’s license (CDL)
for life if you’re arrested for operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) while impaired—or with a BAC of 0.04% or more—for the second time. Refusing twice to take a urine, blood, or breathalyzer test will also result in permanent disqualification. You’ll have to surrender your CDL to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) as soon as possible.

You can fight a second DUI in a hearing

You have 10 days from the date of your arrest to challenge the administrative suspension of your driver’s license.  After that, you may also fight the charges in court. Mounting a successful review or criminal defense could result in your suspension or DUI case being dropped.
You could argue that:
  • The arresting officer did not have reasonable cause to pull over your car
  • The arresting officer did not have probable cause to believe you weren’t in your normal faculties
  • The field sobriety, blood, breath, or urine test you failed was flawed, contaminated, or otherwise inadmissible
Don’t take any shortcuts when it comes to securing qualified legal advice. If you decide to challenge your second DUI arrest, we recommend hiring a DUI lawyer or criminal defense attorney, or at least asking one for a free consultation.

After a two-time DUI conviction, the soonest you can drive again is one year

Pleading guilty to a second DUI carries harsh penalties, but it also allows you to apply for a
Florida restricted hardship license
after one year.
To prove that you need your driving privileges to get to work and other essential appointments, you’ll need:
  • One year without driving
  • One year of sobriety
  • A certificate of completion from a state-approved DUI school or substance abuse course
  • Participation in a DUI supervision program
  • An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed on your vehicle(s) for one year
  • Letters of recommendation from the community
Last but not least, any high-risk drivers with one or more DUIs on their Florida driving record must secure an FR-44 insurance certificate for their vehicle(s).

A Florida DUI requires FR-44 insurance

FR-44 insurance
isn’t really insurance—it’s a certificate your car insurance provider files directly with the DMV asserting that you’ve bought a policy. Florida drivers must file an FR-44 for at least three years after a DUI conviction.
In addition to a yearly filing fee of $15-$25, you’ll need to pay for:
If you’ve already committed one DUI, you know the requirements and high premiums associated with FR-44 insurance make finding an affordable rate all but impossible. What you might not know is that
can help.
It takes a minute to download, a minute to sign up, and a minute to show the best five to seven
car insurance quotes
in your area. That’s three minutes to save an average of over $800 per year on car insurance!


Your second DUI in Florida carries a mandatory jail sentence of at least 10 days. Florida law will also extend your jail time if you’ve committed an aggravated DUI or caused a crash involving serious bodily injury or death.
You’ll lose your driver’s license for at least five years after your second DUI in Florida. If you plead guilty, you’ll be allowed to apply for a hardship license after one year.
Although you may request a hearing within 10 days of getting arrested for a second DUI, the state of Florida is notoriously tough on impaired driving. To avoid jail time—and harsher penalties overall—it’s recommended to hire a qualified DUI defense attorney or law firm.
A second DUI only qualifies for felony charges in Florida if you caused a car accident involving serious bodily injuries or death. Otherwise, your second conviction remains an unclassified misdemeanor, just like your first.
Florida is notoriously tough on DUIs and impaired driving. The penalties include fines, jail time, vehicle impoundment, and license suspensions and revocations—and they only get harsher with each subsequent conviction.


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