It is important that people understand the dangers of repeat DUIs. In California particularly, legislators have made an effort to curb repeat offenses by discussing ways to prevent them and drafting policy restrictions. One representative said, “If someone gets a DUI and pays their debt to society, then that’s a mistake worthy of forgiveness. If someone gets five DUIs, then that’s probably a character trait and they are a threat to our communities.” This statement reflects the seriousness of repeat DUIs.
Over in Salt Lake City, a three-time DUI offender was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for hitting and killing a five-year-old boy while driving intoxicated. The man had been drinking the morning of the accident and, on his route, he hit a mother and her little boy while they were enjoying a bike ride. Unfortunately, the boy passed from his injuries and the mother suffered serious injuries.
Another incident of repeat DUI occurred just a few days ago. This time, the driver had five prior DUIs. Some might wonder how it is possible to get a fifth Driving Under the Influence violation. You read that correctly, a fifth drunk driving offense. How does an intoxicated person get behind the wheel, time and time again? For a man in Delaware, this is his unfortunate truth.
On May 31, police responded to a single-vehicle crash around 9:30 pm. When police contacted the driver, he appeared confused and inattentive. After a DUI investigation, the police discovered that the driver had four previous DUI charges. A search of his vehicle also revealed that he had drug paraphernalia in his possession. Fortunately, no other person was harmed in the course of the crash. The police consequently charged him with several offenses, including fifth offense of DUI and driving while suspended.
What are Possible Penalties You May Face for Repeat DUIs?
The penalty upon conviction of a fifth DUI offense in Delaware includes fines from $3,500 to $10,000; 3 to 5 years in prison; revocation of driver’s license for 5 years; possible ignition interlock requirement after reinstatement of license; and an alcohol evaluation and treatment program.
Although these penalties seem steep, they pale in comparison to what other states impose for repeated DUI offenses. For example, in California, the penalties for a fourth DUI offense include:
- License suspension of up to 4 years
- Possible permanent license suspension
- Up to 16 months in state prison
- Fines and fees of up to $18,000
- 30 months of DUI school
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
- 3-5 years DUI probation
- Status as a convicted felon
Based on the state where the offense occurred, the consequences of a repeat DUI vary. Judges are generally not inclined to show leniency to repeat offenders. In California, past DUI convictions can be used to enhance the penalties of an offense in the future. Other states have sought more serious criminal charges for fatal DUI crashes.
A person can still be rehabilitated, but first, the state needs to make sure they are no longer a danger to themselves or others. Repeat DUI offense penalties are designed to discourage drivers from getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Whether you are dealing with a first or fifth time DUI charge, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the situation. We invite you to meet with us to discuss options for fighting your DUI case. A DUI doesn’t have to be a life-long disaster.