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How Many Strikes Before You're Out? - Repeat Drunk Drivers


It could be said that most people are ready and willing to learn from their mistakes. Having made a poor decision once or even twice and having to suffer the consequences seems like it would be enough to deter one from making the same bad choice again. But this doesn’t seem to be the case with some DUI offenders.

While relatively few compared to other DUI incidents, there continues to be reports of people being arrested not just for a second or third offense, but for a fifth, sixth and even seventh DUI. There’s even a story out of South Dakota of a man who has been arrested 19 times for DUI and subsequently convicted 16 times in court.

Hearing stories of those who continue to be arrested for and convicted of DUI over and over again begs the question – When is enough, enough? And, is there a punishment harsh enough that will impact such a person?

Lawmakers in the state of Wisconsin are currently considering “Five Strikes and You’re Out” legislation that would permanently strip driving privileges from anyone who has received 5 DUI convictions. Both lawmakers and law enforcement officials seem to have reached their limit and want to crack down in a big way on these repeat offenders. Their hope is that, without a license, these drivers will stay off the road altogether and limit the chance of them causing injury or death to other drivers.

Arizona has very strict laws when it comes to repeat DUI offenses. For the 2nd offense alone, mandatory jail time increases significantly as does the length of time your driver’s license is revoked. Repeat offenders are often required to go through a treatment program designed to help them realize the possible consequences of their actions and provides support to help put an end to the issue.

For 3rd and 4th DUI convictions in Arizona, the penalties continue to get stiffer. A convictions brings more jail time, higher fines and longer suspensions of licenses.

In addition to these penalties, Arizona law offers 4 other interventions designed to deter repeat DUI offenders. These interventions can be used as penalties and are required in some cases.

  • Automobile Impoundment – Impounding vehicles after conviction for DUI or driving while suspended can decrease recidivism by an estimated 38% and DUI crashes by about 4%.
  • Ignition Interlock – Attaching an interlock to a car for a year after its operator is convicted of driving while intoxicated reduce recidivism by an estimated 75% and alcohol-related fatalities by 7%.
  • Electronically Monitored House Arrest – Monitoring programs attach a device to the wrist or ankle that relays a continuous signal to a computer and also may require offenders to relay a breath test when prompted by a random phone call.
  • Intensive Probation Supervision with Treatment – This early intervention program seeks to reduce alcohol-impaired driving by addressing repeat offenders’ drinking habits and provides intensive individual counseling and monitoring.

If you or if someone you know is facing DUI charges and already has a DUI conviction on their record, contact experienced DUI attorney Charlie Naegle for help. Having an attorney in court with you can help in avoiding harsh penalties and long-term license suspensions.

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