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Fines, Jail Time, Suspended License: DUI and DWI Bring Steep Penalties

Date posted: 06/28/2012

by Melissa Crumish on
in DUI & DWI

1170 Fines, Jail Time, Suspended License: DUI and DWI Bring Steep Penalties

There is no other way to describe a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction other than ouch, ouch, and ouch. It’s the conviction that keeps taking your time, your money, and your self-respect.

Determining DUI & DWI Penalties

Also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI), operating while intoxicated (OWI), and operating under the influence (OUI), driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol brings severe penalties.

The exact extent of the penalties are determined by several factors:

  • The laws of your state. Each state governs drunk driving differently.
  • Your blood alcohol count (BAC). In most cases the higher the BAC the steeper penalties.
  • Your age. Many states have stricter laws for younger drivers. Many states maintain a “Zero Tolerance” policy, making it illegal for any driver under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in his or her system.
  • Whether you’re a repeat offender.
  • Whether an accident was involved, resulting in property damage, injury, or death.
  • Whether any minors were riding in the car at the time of your arrest.

Common DUI & DWI Penalties

You’ll rue your decision to drink and drive when the penalties get handed down, many of which carry long-term repercussions.

Depending on your state and situation, you may face all or some of the following DUI penalties:

  • Fines. The amount increases with every DUI arrest.
  • Time in jail.
  • Community service as directed by the court. Sometimes this is offered in lieu of prison.
  • Loss of driving privileges. Depending on your situation, the court may suspend, revoke, or cancel your drivers license. The exact length contingent on your state and severity of offense.
  • Mandatory enrollment a driver improvement course and/or substance abuse sessions.
  • Ignition interlock device installation.

Additional DUI & DWI Consequences

The penalties don’t stop there. You’ll also face several indirect consequences, which may include:

  • Paying for legal fees if you hire a DUI attorney.
  • Paying for court fees.
  • Paying a license reinstatement fee following a suspended license.
  • Paying for mandatory driver improvement and/or substance abuse courses.
  • Increased car insurance rates, maybe for the rest of your life.
  • Loss of job, depending on your line of work.

To learn more about your state’s DUI and DWI penalties, consult your state’s drivers license handbook. Every handbook devotes an entire chapter to the dangers of drinking and driving.

Have you ever been convicted of a DUI or DWI? What kinds of consequences did you face? Are you still paying the price?

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