Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has serious consequences. These include legal and financial trouble, but there are additional penalties that can affect people for years.
If facing a DUI charge, it is important to fight it to avoid the potential negative effects.
Criminal and driving penalties
According to FindLaw, a DUI can occur if a driver has a BAC of .08 or higher, but a driver can also get one with a lower BAC if the police officer suspects impairment. One penalty that can have multiple effects is license suspension or revocation, which can be for up to five years. With test refusal, there is an automatic suspension of one year.
With a DUI conviction, there are various sentences the judge can give, and they vary based on if it is a first or subsequent offense, the BAC number and other factors. Fines can range from up to $1,000 to up to $5,000. Time served ranges from up to one year in jail to up to five years in prison. Other potential penalties include probation, a DUI education course, community service and ignition interlock requirements.
According to Money Crashers, the financial penalties extend far beyond court fines. There are attorney fees, alcohol education class fees, impoundment and towing fees and potential lost wages. A person who has a DUI conviction also pays much higher car insurance premiums for years afterwards. If someone was in an accident with another driver, there may also be costs associated with property damage and medical expenses.
A DUI conviction limits some civil liberties such as being a youth mentor or an emergency childcare provider. For some professionals, such as lawyers or doctors, license suspension may also occur.