The way society views driving under the influence (DUI) has undergone some changes in the last few decades, with less tolerance for offenders. The justice system followed through with that perception, and increased punishments for DUI offenders in several ways. While sentencing and punishment vary from case to case, and state to state, the below comprises a summary of common DUI punishments meted out in many places.
Driving License Suspensions
In most cases, someone arrested for DUI will find their driving privileges severely curtailed. The government entity that controls licensing is separate from the justice system, but connected in some ways. What that means for offenders is that, even if a judge doesn't suspend your license, you still might not have a valid license to drive. Speak with your criminal defense lawyer about how to apply for hardship licenses, and when you can apply for a new license. In most cases, you can face stiff fees before you are allowed to legally drive again.
Going to Jail
Very few of those arrested for DUI are allowed to just call for a ride and go home. This often means you might have to expect at least one or more nights in jail. Most DUI offenders are brought before the judge at an arraignment and offered bail. The only time you might not be offered bail is if you have been arrested before for DUI, if there was an accident with fatal injuries, or if other related charges exist. As far as sentencing goes, almost all DUI offenders can expect to avoid jail if they agree to comply with a handful of other penalties.
Other Common DUI Penalties
- Ignition interlock device on the vehicle.
- Probation with a monthly cost and monitoring.
- Community service like picking up roadside trash.
- Victim impact counseling consisting of DUI accident survivors or family members speaking about the way drunk driving has impacted them.
- Driving and substance abuse classes.
- Wheel locks to prevent driving for a time period.
- Auto insurance cancellation or an increase in rates.
The above list is only a peek at what could happen after an arrest and conviction. Speak to a criminal defense lawyer about your case, because the results of your case depend on their ability to have your charges reduced or dropped. The way your arrest occurred must stand up to scrutiny, or your chances of avoiding penalties are decreased. For more information about drunk driving attorneys, contact a local practice.