DUI (driving under the influence) will normally be charged as a third offense if the offender has two prior DUI convictions within the last ten years. A third offense DUI is a misdemeanor but carries stiff penalties. This article outlines the possible penalties and some of the ways you might be able to mitigate the effects of a conviction.
Generally, the judge will determine the penalties for a DUI conviction within the limits and requirements set by statute. Prior to sentencing, the offender must obtain a substance abuse assessment, which the judge can consider in determining penalties.
Jail time. For a third DUI conviction, the offender faces 30 days to six months in jail. At least thirty days must be spent in jail before probationary release. However, this minimum jail time can be reduced to 15 days if the offender completes an inpatient treatment program.
Fines. The offender will be fined $750 to $3,000 (plus court costs and other fees).
Substance abuse treatment. As part of probation, the judge will generally order alcohol education, substance abuse treatment, or participation in the 24/7 Sobriety Program. The 24/7 Sobriety Program uses breath testing, drug patch testing, and remote alcohol monitoring to ensure the offender stays sober during the probation period.
Aggravating factors. The penalties for a DUI conviction can be more severe if the offense involved certain aggravating factors. For example, impaired driving with a child passenger will add a year of jail and $750 in fines to the offender's sentence.
A third-offense DUI will result in driving-related penalties and restrictions but the offender might still have options for preserving at least some driving privileges.
Conviction suspensions. A third-offense DUI conviction will result in a three-year driver's license suspension, followed by two years with an ignition interlock device (IID).
Administrative suspensions. In most DUI cases, the arresting officer will request that the driver submit to alcohol testing (often a breathalyzer). Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) receives the test results and will administratively suspend the license of drivers whose results show a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more.
Vehicle insurance and registration. The offender must hold proof of financial responsibility (SR-22) for three years following the conviction. The driver's vehicle registration shall also be revoked for one year if either prior offense occurred within the last two years.
Restricted licenses. Suspended drivers can immediately apply for a restricted license by paying a $125 fee. A restricted license authorizes vehicle operation but only with an installed IID. Participation in the 24/7 Sobriety Program might also be required.