Legal Penalties For DWI/DUI Cases

Legal Penalties For DWI/DUI Cases


I'm raising money for a cause I care about, but I need your help to reach my goal! Please become a supporter to follow my progress and share with your friends.

Support this campaign

Subscribe to follow campaign updates!

More Info

Every state has different penalties and consequences for DWI/DUI convictions. However, most states in the US allow first offenders some leeway and charge the offenses as misdemeanors. Still, every state takes drunk driving seriously and foists strict penalties for multiple violations, especially when there are aggravating factors present.

In addition, some states do not even consider first offenses as misdemeanors but as civil infractions. Moreover, different states have different rules on how much a judge has authority over the penalties for the violations. Speak to a dwi attorney for more information on the penalties for a DUI charge.

Legal penalties for a DWI/DUI charge

  • Jail or Prison Time

If you are found guilty of DUI, you are likely to be sentenced to jail time, fines, community service, alcohol assessment and treatment, or probation. As a first offense, DUI is treated as a misdemeanor in many places, so you won't have to serve a long period of prison sentence. The maximum penalty that you are likely to receive in most first-offense DUI charges is six months in jail, while certain jurisdictions have minimum sentences (often one or two days) if found guilty.

However, several states impose additional imprisonment when there are aggravating elements, such as an abnormally high blood alcohol content or an accident due to the DUI resulting in serious bodily harm. Moreover, greater sentences are generally imposed for repeated DUI convictions. In addition, you might be sentenced to several years in jail if your felony DUI caused severe harm or death to another individual.

  • Fines and Costs

A DUI is also expensive. Even for a first offense, fines and expenses can vary from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending upon the state. It might be required for you to pay for the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). When using an ignition interlock device, a driver must blow into a unit placed on the vehicle's dashboard; if the driver's blood alcohol content is above an established limit, the car will not start.

  • License Suspension or Revocation

If you are found guilty of DUI, you may find that some consequences will impact your license. Your license can be suspended as part of your sentence in any state by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles or by a court order. Regarding the duration of the suspension, each state has its own regulations. For first-time offenders, the average suspension period is ninety days.

However, in many states, you can apply for a restricted license, which you can use for driving to work, school, or rehab during the suspension period, but most often with an IID setup.

Campaign Wall

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or