Almost every state considers it a crime to drive under the influence (DUI). But not every state regards DUI as a crime. Some states see DUI convictions as civil offenses, while others see them as both civil and criminal offenses. This means that even though you may have been convicted of DUI, it doesn’t mean you will have to go to jail. Therefore, which state you live in also makes a difference.
Each state has its own rules about how to punish people who are caught driving drunk. Most states are lenient on the first offense and charge it as a misdemeanor. However, they take drunk driving very seriously and give harsh punishments for multiple offenses or when there are other factors that make it worse.
But in some states, a first offense isn’t even a misdemeanor. Instead, it’s just a civil infraction. Also, different states have different rules regarding the punishment. Some states have minimum sentences that everyone must serve, while in other states, the punishments depend on the case. DUI Lawyers can help in assisting the clients by providing legal guidance and support.
Time in Jail or Prison
If you are found guilty of DUI, you may have to take an alcohol test and get treatment, pay fines,do community service, go to jail,and go on probation. In many states, a first-time DUI is treated as a misdemeanor, which means you won’t spend a long time in jail. In some places, you have to spend at least one or two days in jail if you are found guilty.
However, in most first-time DUI cases, you will spend no more than six months in jail. But if there are things that make the situation worse, like a blood alcohol level that is unusually high or an accident where the DUI caused serious injuries, many states require more jail or prison time. Also, people who get second DUI usually get longer sentences. And if you kill or hurt someone with a felony DUI, you could get a prison sentence that lasts for a long time.
Costs and Fines
A DUI could also cost you a lot of money. Even for a first offense, fines and costs can range from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the state. You might have to pay to have an ignition interlock device (IID) put in your car. An ignition interlock device requires the driver to blow into a unit that is installed on the dashboard of the car. If the driver’s blood alcohol level is above a certain level, the driver will not be able to start the car.
Licenses can be suspended or taken away
If you are found guilty of DUI, you will likely find that your license is affected in some way. In every state, it is possible that your license will be taken away by the Department of Motor Vehicles or by the court as part of your sentence. Each state has its own rules about how long a driver’s license is suspended.
A first-time offender’s license is usually taken away for 90 days, but in many states, you can apply for a restricted license that lets you drive to work, school, or rehab, often with an IID installed. When you have more than one DUI conviction on your record, the length of your suspension is usually longer for each new one. In some places, drivers who are found guilty of DUI have their licenses taken away. If you refuse to take a chemical test, your license may be taken away in many states, even if you are not found guilty.
Care and Instruction
When someone is convicted of DUI, they often have to go to alcohol abuse treatment or education programmes as part of their sentence. A programme like this could help you quit drinking or test you to see if you are an alcoholic. For a first offense, this is sometimes the main punishment, along with probation and a license suspension. However, it can also be combined with other things like community service and paying back the people who were hurt.
Penalties for teens who get a DUI
If you’re under 18 and you’re arrested for DUI, you could get the same punishments as an adult. Most states let people drink when they are 21 years old. If you are under 21 and get a DUI, you could be punished even if your blood alcohol level was much lower than.08%. The legal limit for drivers under 21 in most states is.02% or no alcohol at all. Some states have harsher punishments for drunk drivers under 21 than for drunk drivers over 21. If you are convicted, your license is likely to be taken away.
If you are convicted of DUI, your insurance may also change. Your auto insurance company may take away any discounts you got for being a good or safe driver. You may also be labeled a high-risk driver and have to pay more for your insurance. In some cases, the insurance company will cancel the policy, and you may need to find a company that specializes in very expensive high-risk insurance. Some states may even take away the car of a drunk driver.
More Severe Punishments
Most states have harsher penalties when certain things are present, such as a very high blood alcohol level. For example, in Alabama, if you are a first-time offender and your blood alcohol level is.15% or higher, your license will be taken away for 90 days and you will have to install an ignition interlock device for 2 years.
Each state has its own laws about how to punish drunk drivers. Most states are easy on first-time offenders and only charge them with a misdemeanor. But they take drunk driving very seriously and punish it harshly when it happens more than once or when other things make it worse. But a first offense isn’t even a misdemeanor in some states. Instead, it is only a civil offense.