DUI – Do You Know What’s Coming?

Driving under the influence facts, Drunk and drive rules

Drunk driving laws vary by state. But many states tend to have similar penalties for drunk driving offenses. You need to refer to your specific state for particular laws and penalties. There are two basic aspects of laws when driving under the influence of alcohol: criminal and civil. Here is a brief illustration on what the laws have in store for you when caught driving under the influence of alcohol.

First Offense

The penalties vary from state to state but you can generally be sure that you’ll have to:

  • pay a high fine
  • spend some time in prison (this is often waived for the first offense);
  • perform some community service
  • take part in an alcohol treatment or education

Judges have discretion in awarding punishment, so punishments may also change from county to county within a state.

In general, you will likely:

  • pay approximately 1200 $ fine,
  • lose your license for 4 months
  • have a restricted license for an additional 3 months, after the first 4 months
  • be placed on three years probation
  • spend 3-5 days in an alternative work program(picking trash along side the street, etc.), and
  • take part for three to four months in drunk driving first offender school

Second Offense

Once we go up in crime, the civil and criminal penalties will obviously become more severe. Again, these penalties vary by state, but sometimes they’re similar. The 2nd offense penalties generally include:

  • Three to five years probation;
  • Fines between $ 1800 and $ 2800;
  • 2-year loss of your license;
  • Attending 18 months of drunk driving school
  • 96 hours of jail

Third Offense

The penalties in the third offense generally include the following:

  • 3-5 years’ probation – which can be a formal probation, ie you need to report to a probation officer;
  • Fines between $ 1800 and $ 2800;
  • 3-year loss of your license;
  • Attending 18 months of driving under the influence school, and
  • Six months of prison

Fourth Offense

If it’s your fourth offense, you really haven’t learnt your lesson. They might charge you with a felony. Moreover, you can be sent to state prison for 3 years.

Know Your Rights

It is crucial that you know your rights when dealing with a legal situation. These rights are made to protect you. Proper use of your rights often means the difference between freedom and jail. Here is how you can use the law to deal with a police officer in a best possible manner.

You have the right to remain silent prior to being arrested. Things you will do or say might be used against you. Even though you have not been arrested, it doesn’t mean you cannot make use of your right to consult with a lawyer.

Simply tell the cops that you would like to have a lawyer present before answering any queries. There are law firms that specialise in cases of driving under influence, and those are the kind of lawyers you need at this point. The police might try to ask some questions several times, but stick to your guns. Be polite, but firm. Don’t answer any questions.

We all know what is right and what is wrong. Although there are ways of defending your case, let us not forget that DUI can put many lives at risk. Primarily yours.

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About the Author: Vijay

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