Soon after an early evening happy hour with coworkers, you get in your car and head home. Your commute is interrupted by a law enforcement officer, who suspects you of drunk driving.
This is not good, and you know the harm that a DUI arrest and conviction can have on you legally as well as serve as a blow to your personal reputation. You can expect many penalties to surface.
Loss of driving privileges, fines and jail
Here are some of the consequences to expect after a DUI conviction:
- Loss of your driving privileges: If you are stopped for DUI and have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, you immediately lose your driving privileges. When arrested, if you decline to submit to testing or fail the sobriety tests you lose your driving privileges for a year.
- Complete an alcohol or drug screening: You must do this before seeking a restricted permit or reinstatement of your driving privileges.
- Fines and jail time: If this is your first DUI offense, expect to pay a fine of no more than $1,250 and jail time of about 10 days. For a second offense and subsequent offenses, expect a fine of up to $3,000 and as much as 90 days in jail
- Ignition interlock device installation: You must have this instrument installed in your vehicle and pay for it. This machine serves as another deterrent. It detects alcohol in your system after you blow into it, preventing the vehicle from starting.
- Community service: Upon conviction, you can expect a judge to order you to perform community service. This may include cleaning litter from highways, making speaking engagements about the consequences of drinking and driving, and volunteering for nonprofits.
- Suspension or termination from your job: Certain employers have policies addressing criminal convictions. You could be out of a job, and a DUI conviction also may affect potential job prospects.
- Enrolling in a substance abuse rehabilitation program: A judge or even an employer may order you to enroll in a rehabilitation program. This may make you miss some work, and you will have to pay for the program, too.
These represent some of the more serious consequences after a DUI arrest and conviction.
Seek dismissal and reduction in charges
It is critical to do your best to fight these charges. Enlisting the guidance of a skilled legal advocate would prove advantageous, especially in getting a DUI charge reduced or dismissed. A DUI conviction can linger for a long, long time.