Whether you call it DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated), drunk driving is a serious crime with serious consequences.
If you have recently been charged with drinking and driving, you may wonder what legal ramifications and DUI penalty you might be facing.
Every state has a set blood alcohol content (BAC) limit. This limit is currently 0.08 percent across the U.S. For drivers under the age of 21, this limit can range from 0.00 to 0.02 percent. If a driver takes a breath test and is found to be over the legal limit, he or she may be charged with a “per se” violation.
The penalty for DUI varies from state to state. It is important to contact an experienced defense attorney in your area who is an expert in current drunk-driving law.
The DUI penalty in your case may also vary depending on whether or not this is your first offense. Punishment enhancements can also apply if you are speeding above a certain limit, refuse to take a sobriety test, cause an accident, have a BAC of 0.20 percent or higher, or transporting a minor.
The DUI penalty for a first offense may include jail time, probation, community services, fines, a driver’s license suspension, and alcohol evaluation and treatment. In some cases, the judge may order you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This device measures your BAC, and you must use it before your vehicle will start.
As stated above, if you have had a prior DUI within a certain timeframe, the penalty is harsher. You may spend more time in jail, pay more fines, and have a longer driver’s license suspension.
There are other consequences that come along with a DUI conviction. Many states require you to obtain SR22 insurance after your driver’s license is reinstated. Not all insurance companies offer this type of insurance, so you may be dropped by your current insurance company.
Finding future employment may also be more difficult with a DUI offense on your record.
If you are interested in learning more about your potential DUI penalty, contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer today.