In all states in the United States, a DUI first offense is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 6 months of jail time. However, some states also sentence compulsory jail time, whether for a first-time offender, that may last for a few days or months.  

DUI and DWI penalties may include fines, jail time, and community services. However, all these depend mainly on many factors, such as the first-time offense, the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver, and whether the driver has crossed the legal limit. Along with these factors, whether someone has been injured or killed owing to a driver’s impairment is the fundamental factor. (Learn more on essential facts about drinking and driving

Categories Of Consequences Of Drunk Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a severe crime, and the punishments will reflect it. DUI laws, such as driving offenses after a breathalyzer test and blood alcohol content, are more than the legal limit of 0.08%, and others may vary from one state to another. The consequences of drunk driving may be categorized in the following categories:

  • Jail time

The jail time for a DUI conviction may depend on an individual’s prior convictions. Some factors may aggravate the penalties. For DUI to be classified as a felony, the driver may have injured or killed someone, or it may also happen that the offender may have prior DUI convictions. 

  • Fines

A drunken driving conviction may also cause DUI fines that can range between $500 to $2000. This fine is for first-time DUI convictions, whereas second-time and third-time convictions may increase the fines owing to the aggravating DUI factors and may go up to thousands. 

  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation

DUI may endanger your driver’s license. In some states, a first-time DUI may lead to suspension of the offender’s license for 90 days, a second-time offender may lead to 12 12-month suspension, and a third-time offense for a 3-year suspension.  

  • Vehicle-related DUI penalties

DUI offense may lead to confiscating the vehicle, such as a car, and may cancel its registration on temporary or permanent cancellation. Furthermore, the court may also make it compulsory to install an ignition interlock device on the car’s offender. It will prevent an intoxicated driver from operating the motor vehicle without the BAC test done by a breath test. 

  • Counseling 

Some other choices that courts sentence in DUI cases may include:

  • Community service
  • Victim restitution
  • Drug/alcohol treatment programs
  • Drug/alcohol prevention programs

These DUI penalties may also be applied either in addition to fines or jail time or maybe instead of those penalties. Some of the other penalties may include the cancelation of the insurance policy or an increase in the rates of DUI convictions. It is to be noted that DUI convictions stay on an individual’s record for years. The driver may also come across a civil lawsuit if there are any bodily injuries or property damage.  

  • Young Offenders

If a minor is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may face different punishments in comparison to adults. It may differ based on the state you live in, as some may have zero tolerance laws, which means drivers less than 21 years old may not drive even with slight alcohol content in their system.  Such DUI laws do not have jail time but may result in fines or license suspension. 

Facing DUI penalties? Talk To An Attorney

If you are facing driving under the influence of DUI charges, you may get help from an experienced law firm or a DUI lawyer who has an understanding of the laws. They will let you know your options and how to proceed in your DUI case.