During recent surveys and researches, more than 5 million people in the United States alone admitted that they drink and drive once in a while. Every year the number of accidents caused by drunk drivers increases, and the number of people who decide to get behind the wheel even though they are intoxicated is said to be extremely high.
Even though no one plans on doing this, it is said that every one of us will get in a situation where they are required to drive even though they’ve had more than a few drinks. If you’ve ever been caught doing this, you probably have a lot of questions about your case. In this article, we are going to talk about the fines, penalties, risks, and if you can go to jail for a DWI or DUI.
Depending on the drug or alcohol level that was found in your bloodstream, and depending on the specific case, it is said that you will most likely be required to pay a fine. As you already know, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, so before you are required to pay a fine, or to face jail time, you need to work on getting yourself out of the problem.
The best way to lower your fine and to pay as low of an amount as possible is to find a legal advisor that will help you out throughout the process. They will be able to negotiate your fine, and if possible, get you to walk away without having to pay anything.
However, the fines and the penalties depend on the state you are in, as well as the other factors in your case. In most places, you will be required to pay at least 500 dollars, and that could go up to 2000 dollars. Note that if there were other factors, and if there were other parties involved, or if you had an accident because of driving under the influence, you may be required to pay a lot more money. In addition to this, most of the insurance companies will not cover these charges, so you will have to pay for everything on your own.
Will you get your license taken away?
Except for the fines and penalties, you can face, another thing that is likely to happen is for you to get your license taken away. Once again, it depends on the blood alcohol or drug level, and on the fact if this is your first time doing it, or if it is a second or subsequent time offense.
Note that your attorney can help you out in this case, and it is far better to get your license taken away than for you to risk facing jail time. As you can view here, if you are a responsible social drinker, facing serious repercussions is not the fair thing to do, and a professional legal advisor can help you out to get your innocence proven, and they can help you find the right thing to do to avoid strict charges and unfair sentences.
Even though having to part with your license is not something anyone wants to do, sometimes that is required. Note that the amount of time your license will be taken away depends mostly on the state where you are. Some states will not hesitate to take it for a year or even longer, while in other places, you will get it back in less than three months.
In most of the states, if this is your first offense, you should be getting your license back in less than 6 months, and this is your second, or third offense, you risk parting with it for more than 3 years. Note that if you choose to refuse the tests, and if you don’t want to provide blood or urine to be tested, you risk getting your license suspended for a longer period of time.
In case your license gets taken away, know that there are states where you could get a permit to drive just to and from work, but that all depends on the place and on your specific case. Talk to your attorney about the options you have in case this happens to you – you can always view more details here.
Do you risk getting incarcerated?
Now let’s talk about the main topic of this article, do you always go to jail if you are caught driving while intoxicated or driving under influence? Well, there is no exact rule on this, and there are a lot of things that need to be considered.
If this is your first time being arrested for it, chances are, you may avoid it. You need a great attorney that will help you out in this difficult process and know that you should always choose one that is local, that knows the current laws, and that has the needed experience with these cases.
If you just got caught during a routine inspection, and if you cooperate and allow the tests to be taken, chances are, you may get away with just a fine, or possibly suspended license. However, if you don’t cooperate, or if you were involved in an accident, things get more complicated. The same goes if this is not your first offense and if this has happened before.
Depending on the state where you are, you may need to spend a few days in prison, up to a month. Some states don’t give sentences more than 30 days for DUI and DWI, but in some places, you may get locked away for up to one year. In some states, if the blood alcohol level was extremely high, they may try to give you a severe punishment.
Note that this is not classified as a felony unless someone is injured or killed because the driver was intoxicated. Note that if you were involved in an accident, someone else was injured, and if this is not your first time getting arrested for driving under the influence, you risk being put in jail for several years.
As you can see, all of the things depend on so many different factors that answering the question is almost impossible. Even though you can go to jail because you decided to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or using different substances, it does not have to be the case every single time.
Know that some judges may decide to give you an alternative punishment, including being enrolled in education and prevention programs, as well as social work and community service. If you are under the age of 21, chances are, you won’t risk jail time, but you will get your license taken away, and you will have to pay a lot of fines. Always drink responsibly, and if you need to get from one place to another after consuming alcohol, know that it is far better to pay for a cab ride, than to risk injuring yourself and others.