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Penalties For DUI

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Definition - What does Penalties For DUI mean?

Everyday drivers throughout the United States are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and drugs. Penalties for DUI have increased substantially since the 1980s and even drivers who have been convicted of a first time DUI offense may find they are facing severe penalties for a DUI conviction.

Drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited Under the National Minimum Drinking Act to purchase an alcoholic beverage (from a vendor or other source) or have in their public possession an alcoholic beverage. Drivers under the age of 21 are also not allowed to drink alcohol and drive. Many states have implemented zero tolerance laws for underage drinkers.

States have also adopted Administrative License Revocation laws which allow the state to suspend a driver's license if drivers refuse to take or fail a blood alcohol concentration test. It is also illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher.

Penalties for DUI have also become more severe. Repeat DUI offenders can expect to serve mandatory jail time. In some states repeat offenders may be labeled as a "habitual offender" and may be charged with a felony conviction after a specified number of DUI convictions. Other DUI offenders may face any of the following DUI penalties:

  • Large fines
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Mandatory drug and/or alcohol classes
  • Jail terms
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
  • Probation
  • Potential assessment review with a professional counselor to determine what steps should be taken to reinstate the driver's license. Steps may include rehabilitation in programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or a residential treatment program.
  • Additional insurance coverage

DUI penalties can be costly, not only in money and time, but they can also affect a driver's family and job opportunities.

Related Links

  • Administrative License Revocation -- provides an efficient and fair legal process to determine if the license suspension by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for operating a motorized vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs should be upheld.
  • Habitual Offender -- habitual offenders frequently face more severe penalties for their crimes.

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