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3rd DUI Offense: Will I Go to Jail?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

Your first DUI was bad. And your second wasn't any better. And now you're facing a third DUI conviction and things are not looking good.

You know you're in for some increased penalties based on your prior DUI history, but could that include some serious jail time? Here's a look.

Jail Time

State DUI laws can vary considerably, and any DUI punishment will depend on the circumstances of your case. That said, you can look at some state statutes as an indicator for how your third DUI case might go.

For instance, New York treats a third DUI as a felony offense, with a maximum prison sentence of seven years. Meanwhile, a third DUI in Minnesota is still treated as a misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of a year in jail. And California imposes a minimum of 120 days in jail following a third DUI, with some counties going even higher.

Generally speaking, if you're looking at a third DUI conviction, it's not so much whether you'll be serving jail time, but how much jail time you'll be serving.

Other Fines

While jail time is pretty bad, it's only one of many possible penalties you could be facing with a third-time DUI. You could also be looking at:

  • Automatic Driver's License Suspension or Revocation: From one to possibly three years or more.
  • Mandatory Alcohol Education and Assessment/Treatment: Including regular or random tests for drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Vehicle Confiscation: Your car may be impounded temporarily or for a set, extended amount of time.
  • Ignition Interlock: You will almost certainly need to install an ignition interlock device on your car, and may need to keep it for a year or more.
  • Probation or House Arrest: Following or in lieu of jail time.
  • Fines, Fees, and Costs: DUIs aren't cheap and you may have to pay fines and fees for interlock device or probation monitoring.

With your freedom at stake, you shouldn't try to handle a third DUI by yourself. An experienced DUI attorney can help and may even be able to minimize your risk of seeing jail time.

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