DUI Penalties

You’ve probably heard the term, “DUI” and are familiar with it’s meaning.  For those who are new to this term, DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence.  In most states, if a driver is pulled over and has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, they will be charged with a DUI.  Regardless of the reason, location, circumstances, or story related to why you were given a DUI, it is imperative you seek out a trained DUI attorney to represent you in a court of law.  If you walk into a court room without representation, unless you are an attorney yourself, or have one hell of a story, you’ll be pinned with whatever penalties the judge deems necessary.  Here are the possible penalties pertaining to most states.

License Suspension or Termination

This penalty is based on a tier system. Your license will be suspended for 90 days upon conviction of your first DUI. You license will be suspended for one year for your 2nd, and three years for your third. On many cases, the judge can permanently revoke your license resulting in losing the privilege to operate a motor vehicle.

Vehicle Confiscation

Not a very common penalty and not put into practice in many states, confiscating a vehicle resulting from a convicted DUI is a possible reality and probably will become more popular in the near future. The is perhaps one of the most effective deterrents from driving while intoxicated. Generally this penalty is reserved for those who:

  • Can not pay their fines. The vehicle can be claimed after all fines and other administrative costs are paid.
  • Have been convicted of a DUI on multiple occasions
  • Have been convicted of their 2nd DUI in close time-proximity to their first DUI.

Ignition Interlock

ignition-interlock-deviceIn many states this is a mandatory penalty. Your vehicle(s) will be outfitted with a device which requires you to perform a breathalyzer test in order for ignition to take place. At first glance, this may not seem like such a horrible penalty however, after you pay the $50-$200 installation fee, and the $50-$100 per month rental fee, you may quickly change your mind. These fees are additional to the DUI court costs.

Mandatory Alcohol Education

In many states, you can be required to take an Alcohol Education class, approved by the DVM, instead of serving jail sentences and, if you’re lucky, some of the total cost of the DUI charge will be lessened.

DUI Costs

After vehicle towing, posting bail, court costs, fines, lawyer fees, and increased insurance premiums for however long, the total cost of a being convicted of a DUI is around $20,000. This estimate by criminal justice experts, excludes any property damage and/or medical costs. That $20 taxi charge should be looking like one hell of a deal right now!