Driving under Influence Law and its Penalties

As with any other crime, a person who is charged with driving while drinking or driving under influence (DUI) is thought to be innocent until proven guilty under charge. If through trials, the charge is proven then the penalty is quite stiffer than just charging fine. The penalties of DUI include:

  1. Jail

In most countries, the person who is charged with driving under influence or driving while drinking is not subjected to any penalty until he/she is proven guilty of the charges. Once the person is proven to be guilty then the penalties might include jail time depending on the situation. However, in a few places, the maximum jail time for the first DUI is even shorter (might be only 30 days). For the first time, the possibility of jail time is lesser. But with the second DUI and the subsequent DUI’s, the maximum jail sentence can be greater. For instance, in Colorado, the maximum jail sentence is from 10 days to 60 days and in some cases it might be even one year. A good may number of circumstances also affect the jail time like high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest. If the person’s BAC is high enough from normal level than then jail sentence of several years is not uncommon. Again it all depends on the circumstances and the trail results as well.

  • Fines

Driving under influence conviction mostly ends up with fines. Usually, the fine also depends upon the circumstances. But generally, it varies from places to places. Subsequent DUI’s can also result in heavy fines and it can also increase the amount of the fine the driver can expect to pay.

  • License problems

Driving under influence or driving with alcohol might suspend your license for some period of time. A driver’s high blood alcohol concentration and reckless driving can also result in suspending the license of driver for a longer time period. For instance, in California, the suspension time might be six months to three years. In some serious cases, the state makes sure that the driver never gets back on the road. The state, in some cases, might also cancel the registration of the driver temporarily for a short time span. 

  • Alternative  Punishments

In a lot of cases, the state might give some alternative punishments other than jail sentence, fines and suspension of driver’s license. It all depends on the results of trial or the judge might combine it with some other punishments. In the case of young offenders of driving under influence or driving while drinking, there might be different penalties than adults. Most countries have zero tolerance policy for drivers younger than 21 years of age who drive while drinking or under any other influence. The might be some other legal penalties including stay on the driving license for several years. 

DUI Expunged

Getting a DUI legally removed from your criminal record is termed as DUI expunged. Drivers who have recently convicted DUI for first time ever are more likely to look into this option.  Having said that DUI convictions have a negative effect on driver’s individual life, so driver’s really look for the option to have DUI expunged as fast as possible to reduce the driving charges as reckless driving, driving while drinking, driving with a suspended license etc.