If convicted of a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, drivers face serious consequences as a result. State laws vary but very often the penalties will include substantial fines, losing one’s driver’s license, and spending time in jail.
DUIs and Other Charges
Every state in the country prohibits driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. Some states call it driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired both of which are referred to as DWI.
- A suspended license. Regardless of a person is convicted of a DUI in a criminal court, the Department of Motor Vehicles will often suspend their license if the blood test revealed a minimum blood alcohol content of .08%. With a DUI conviction, the judge may add more time to the license suspension. If that happens, they may allow the suspension times to run concurrently, or at the same time, so that the time periods don’t run one after the other. Total suspension time can run anywhere from 30 days to a year or more. The longer suspension times are often due to one or more of the following circumstances: 1) The driver had prior DUI convictions (in which case they may lose their license permanently), 2) the driver had a very high blood-alcohol content, or 3) the driver refused the responding officer’s request for a chemical test.
- Time in jail. A large number of states require jail time for even the first DUI conviction. The mandatory sentences can run anywhere between one day and a week. Some have increasing mandatory jail times for each successive DUI conviction.
- Fines. In most states a driver convicted of a first-time DUI will have to pay at least $500 in fines. Court fees and penalties can add several hundred dollars or more to the amount of the fine. Those with multiple DUI convictions can end up paying thousands of dollars. A judge may order even a first-time DUI driver to attend and complete a $500 three-month alcohol treatment program for which they have to pay at their own expense.
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID). After a DUI conviction, the driver may have to pay for the installation and maintenance of an IID in their car. The IID detects alcohol in the driver’s breath, much like a breathalyzer. Because it works in conjunction with the car’s ignition system, the car won’t start if the IID detects alcohol. It will also require breath samples at random times when driving so that if it records a positive result for alcohol the result is transmitted to the probation department or court.
- Loss of job. With a DUI conviction, it can be very difficult to get a new job, particularly if it involves driving as one of the job responsibilities. Current employers may have a policy that employees are required to report DUI convictions. That could lead to the loss of their job.