Drunk driving is one of the most common crimes in the U.S. today, with literally thousands of new arrests across every state in the country every single week. You can sometimes get away with drinking driving, but once you’re caught, expect penalties.
What kind of penalties for DUI violations do you typically get?
Say this is your first DUI offense. You had a few drinks with friends, didn’t feel like calling a cab, and got behind the wheel. Once you start driving, you are breaking the law. Once you get pulled over, once your blood alcohol content (BAC) is tested with a breathalyzer or other sobriety test, you can be arrested, put in jail until you sober up, and then expect stiff penalties.
The penalties depend on the state. However, all states use the 0.08% limit; if you’re there or above, you can be arrested. Also, if it’s clear you are under the influence and you are not over the limit, you can still be punished to the full extend of the law.
If you’re arrested in California for your first DUI, for example, you can expect a license suspension, fines, and possibly jail time. California, like all states, punishes even one DUI very hard. Why? Tens of thousands of people die every year are related to drinking and driving. Sometimes it’s the driver, other times the pedestrian crossing the street, or maybe the driver you hit and killed. It’s simply one of the most dangerous killers in the U.S.
What if you get a second or third DUI?
Let’s look at the California example again for this question. If you get a second DUI charge, you can expect to be fined, license suspension for up to 2 years, and jail time up to one year. You also will likely be forced to take classes.
If this is your third DUI violation, just take those punishments and multiply them. With a third offense, your license can be suspended in California for up to 3 years and you can also expect lengthy county jail time. After a fourth of fifth offense, you will likely spend an even longer time in state prison.
What if you hurt someone while driving?
Since DUI charges are designed to keep drinkers off the roads, it’s important to note how many people die when offenders break the law and decide to drive. In each state, thousands of drinking and driving accidents occur every year. And many are not only hurt–some are also killed. Alcohol is a leading cause of death in general, not just for drivers, but drinking and driving has historically been a major killer.
If you hurt someone while drinking and driving, the laws vary by state. Typically, it’s called an aggravated DUI, which is a felony charge. If you drink and drive one time, hurt or kill someone, or drive a minor in your car after you’ve been drinking, the penalties are very severe. In some cases, if a a death is involved, you might face manslaughter charges.
How can you get help with a DUI case?
Hire a professional DUI attorney who can help you fight the case, get a plea bargain with the prosecution, and handle the judge.