Second DUI In Tampa, FL? What You Need To Know

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense that can have far-reaching consequences. The penalties for any degree of DUI are serious and may include jail time, probation, community service, fines, and license suspension. Unfortunately, many individuals arrested for DUI in Tampa are facing their second charge, which has even more serious penalties.

For those unfamiliar with DUI laws in Tampa and elsewhere in Florida, it’s important to understand the consequences that come with a second DUI.   It’s also important for a person accused of a second DUI to be aware of the available legal options that can help mitigate those consequences. This article discusses the possible penalties for a second driving under the influence charge in Tampa.

Definition of DUI in Tampa

In Tampa, a DUI is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. This includes any amount of alcohol or drugs that impair the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. The legal limit for breath/blood alcohol content (BAC) in Florida is 0.08%, but even lower levels can result in an arrest if the officer believes the driver is impaired.

Consequences of a Second DUI in Tampa

A second DUI (occurring within five years of the previous DUI) in Tampa carries much harsher penalties than a first offense. 

Potential Jail Time For a  2nd DUI Offense

A person convicted of a second offense DUI in Florida (which took place within five years of a prior DUI) faces a minimum of 10 days in jail, and a maximum of 9 months in jail.  However, if the person’s breath or blood alcohol is .15 or greater, or if there was a minor in the car at the time of the DUI, then the person faces up to one year in jail. 

Concept drunkenness driving. Handcuffs, a glass of alcohol, car keys.

Fines For a Second DUI Offense

The fines for a 2nd DUI in Florida range between $1,000 and $2,000.  However, if the driver’s breath or blood alcohol level was greater than .15, or if there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of the DUI, then the fine range is $2,000 to $4,000.  


The court may also order probation for a second DUI offense in Tampa. Probation typically lasts 12 months, during which time the driver must comply with certain conditions such as attending DUI school, abstaining from alcohol or drugs, and submitting to random drug tests.

Vehicle Impound

Drivers with a second DUI within five years of a prior conviction have a 30-day impound on their vehicle. For second DUIs after five years of a previous DUI conviction, the impound is 10 days. 

Close up of seatbelt with damaged webbing in door frame of crashed car. Broken auto glass on rain soaked roadway and inside car.

Required Alcohol Education Programs – DUI School

In addition to jail time, fines, and probation, the court will also require the driver to attend an alcohol education program. This is commonly referred to as DUI school and typically lasts between 12-18 hours. The purpose of this program is to educate drivers on the dangers of drinking and driving and help them make better decisions in the future. For second DUI offenses, the driver must complete Level II DUI School and other recommended treatments. 

Driver’s License Revocation

For DUIs within five years of a previous DUI charge, the Judge must revoke the person’s driver’s license for a minimum of five years. For DUIs outside of five years of a previous DUI, the Judge will order the person’s driver’s license to be revoked for 6 to 12 months. 

Ignition Interlock

For any second time DUI, the court will order an ignition interlock for one year.  However, if the driver’s blood/breath alcohol level was above .15, then the court will order a two year ignition interlock.  The interlock is not a requirement of probation.  Rather, it is a condition that the DHSMV will enforce when the person gets their driver’s license back and is able to drive again.  

Possibility of a Business Purposes Only License for the Revoked Driver’s License

For drivers receiving a second DUI within five years of a previous DUI, they are ineligible for a Business Purposes Only License on the revocation until one year of the five-year revocation passes. 

A driver receiving a second DUI outside of 5 years of a prior DUI conviction isn’t eligible for a Florida Business Purposes Only License. The person can only get their driver’s license back when both the court-ordered revocation and the DHSMV-ordered suspension have ended. 

Community Service

Drivers convicted of a second DUI, both within and outside five years, are normally mandated to perform community service. 

Court Costs and Costs of Prosecution

Court and prosecution fees vary.  

How to Find an Experienced DUI Attorney

Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former DUI prosecutor and has extensive experience defending DUI cases. He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. He has years of experience handling all types of DUI cases as a prosecutor and defense attorney. 

Contact Attorney David C. Hardy today if you or a family member was arrested in Hillsborough County Florida, Pinellas County Florida, or Pasco County Florida, for a DUI. He has the skills and experience to guide you through the process while obtaining the best possible outcome. 

Posted in Florida DUI Defense