It is a crime to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol (DUI), and the law can come down on you heavily. The act of driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and drugs come in other names like DWI (driving while intoxicated) or OUI (operating under the influence), but it is the same. However, the consequences of the charges can be quite severe. What can happen depends upon the state where the crime occurred. In general, it includes fines and fees, license suspension, IID (ignition interlock device) installation and can even end in jail time. Since the charges are criminal, it leaves a black spot on your social reputation, and only a Tucson DUI lawyer can help you to escape with minimal or no punishment.
Let us now look at the consequences of facing DUI charges that should help to understand how much bad it can be for you.
A first DUI conviction can lead to mandatory jail time in almost 50% of the states. Jail time can vary between one day and one week like it is 72 hours in the state of Texas. In states like New Jersey that do not have mandatory jail time for first-time offenders, second-time offenders within 10 years must spend 48 hours in jail. And the jail term goes up to 90 days if it happens a third time.
Be ready for license suspension when you are facing DUI charges regardless of whether you are convicted or not in a criminal court. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or its state counterpart will suspend your license if the chemical test reveals that the BAC or blood alcohol concentration in your bloodstream at the time of driving exceeds the limit of 0.08%. In addition to the DMV suspension which is almost automatic, the court too might impose another suspension. Since both suspensions run concurrently, you need not complete the two suspensions separately, depending on the situation.
The suspension period varies between states and for a first-time offender, it is usually 30-day suspension, but in some states, it can go up even up to a year. Prior DUIs increase the suspension period in most states.
Fines and fees
Fines and fees are part of DUI convictions, and in most states, the driver must pay $500 if it is a first-time offense. Moreover, some other payments are payable by drivers in some states in the form of court fees and license reinstatement fees.
Ignition interlock devices
Once charged with DUI, some states make drivers install IIDs on their vehicles. The small device acts like a breathalyzer and stays attached to the car’s ignition system. To start the car, one must blow through a tube, and the car will only start if the breath of air is alcohol-free.
If DUI driving results in damage to property or injures others, it would attract enhanced penalties and can even lead to the arrest of the driver.