DUI or driving under the influence is punishable by law. It is commonly associated with alcohol-related incidences or under the influence of any other substances that could lead to impaired driving. In the case of alcohol, governments establish a ‘legal limit’ which helps as evidence of alcohol’s predictable effects on driving and whether you’re fit to drive or not. However, everyone has a different level of alcohol tolerance, so even small amounts of alcohol can affect your capability to drive. The safest advice is to avoid drinking any alcohol if you are driving.
Here are the consequences if you get a DUI.
Arrest, Booking, and Bail
If you are arrested because of drunk driving, you will be placed into a police vehicle and taken to the nearest police station or jail. There, your mug shot will be taken as well as your fingerprints. In some states, you can be released right away if someone comes to pick you up and pay your bail. In several states, it will require you to be held in the police station until you are sober.
Court Appearance and Revocation of Driver’s License
When you are arrested, you will be given a ticket that tells you the appointment when you need to appear in court to face the charges of DUI. It is humiliating to show in public and answer charges of being intoxicated. In all states, even for a first offense, your sentence will include suspension of driving privileges. In some states, if you do not want to take the field sobriety test or submit to a breathalyzer or blood test, your driver’s license is suspended immediately, even before the court appearance.
Jail Time and Probation
In most states, jail terms have become mandatory, even for first-time offenders. Jail time for first-time offenders is only one or two days. For repeat offenders, jail time is longer than a couple of days. And if there are aggravating circumstances related to your case, the sentences can be increased. Also, even if you are not given any jail time, you will be given a probation sentence. The sentencing judge determines the terms. If you fail to satisfy the terms of probation, you can be sent to jail. Regardless of the conditions, you need to pay a monthly fee for the probation sentence itself.
Drunk Driving School and Alcohol Evaluation
If you want your driving privileges back after a conviction, you will have to finish an alcohol and drug education program, known as drunk-driving school. As part of the court order, a counselor will assess your pattern of alcohol consumption to identify if you have an alcohol abuse disorder. The evaluator will ask you a set of questions about how alcohol affects your life.