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DUI - Top 5 Questions

Every day on our DUI forum we get a variety of different questions from drivers throughout the United States who have been arrested for drunk driving and are curious about the different drunk driving fines and penalties they might face. This blog will address the five most common DUI questions.
A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.

1. What are the typical penalties for a DUI?

  States have different DUI penalties but they generally include probation, fines, jail time, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, alcohol education course and license suspension. When a driver asks about the likely DUI penalties they will face after a DUI offense it is impossible to answer this question unless the driver has told us what state they were arrested in and whether or not this is their first, second or third DUI arrest. The best thing to do is visit our State DUI pages for more information.

2. I was charged with DUI but live in another state? What does this mean?

  Most drivers convicted of a DUI in one state will have DUI penalties imposed in their home state. The agreement between the states is called the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, and it allows one state to advise another state of serious driving infractions. The type of sanctions or penalties imposed by the home state of the driver will vary. At the current time Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin are the only non-compact states who do not share information with other states.

3. What is .08 BAC? What is the legal limit? Is it the same in every state?

  It is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. This means that for every 100 milliliters of blood, there is 8 grams of alcohol in the driver’s blood stream. For most drivers their ability to drive is significantly impaired at this level, and this alcohol concentration can lead to slower reactions times, lack of judgment, reduced self-control, memory impairment, slurred speech and balance impairment.

4. How Can I get my license back after a DUI?

  If your license has been suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state (or the corresponding agency which issues licenses) you will have to first complete the suspension requirements outlined by the DPS. Next you will have to review the requirements for a license reinstatement. This information is generally found on the DPS website. The website may allow you to check your license status and complete the requirements which can include retaking the driver’s test, purchasing SR-22 insurance, installing an ignition interlock device and paying a license reinstatement fee. The requirements will vary by state.

5. Is the drunk driving arrest a misdemeanor or a felony?

  Most first DUI convictions will be considered misdemeanors, unless the driver injuries or kills another person. Second time drunk driving charges may also be considered a misdemeanor but by the third drunk driving convictions most drivers can expect to be charged with a felony and suffer very severe DUI penalties which will likely include jail time.
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