Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous, and those who get caught doing so tend to face some rigid repercussions for their actions. While punishments for driving while intoxicated vary by state or even locality, there tend to be some similarities between sentences regardless of where offenders live.
Potential Jail Time
First-time offenders in any state will face up to six months in jail, although the length of the sentence may be increased based on certain circumstances. However, jail time may also be shorter; this is up to the judge and may even be based on local laws. In some areas, jail time is determined by the offender’s BAC at the time of arrest.
Fines for Driving While Intoxicated
Many courts will also impose what could expensive fees for driving while intoxicated; these can range from 500 dollars to 2,000 dollars and are not negotiable. Some states may also require “responsibility” fees that are separate from other fines.
Alternative and Educational Punishments
The intoxicated driver’s license may also be suspended; this is often for a span of 90 days and its reinstatement may be attached to specific activities, such as completion of a DWI education program online or in person. Additionally, some judges will require outside assessment and possible treatment for addiction or include community service as a part of the sentence.
Fees, jail time, community service or educational courses are not the only consequences of driving while intoxicated. Car insurance rates will increase, insurance could be cancelled, employers may react poorly to the news of the charge and the driver’s license will be suspended. If the intoxicated driver caused bodily harm or property damage to their unintended victims, they may also be on the receiving end of a civil lawsuit.
Youthful DWI Offenders
The penalties are even more severe for youth; because the legal drinking age is 21, DWI charges for minors are quite serious. Some states have mandatory community service, and the BAC to be considered driving while intoxicated is significantly lower than it is for adults.
Drunk Driving is Not Worth it
Because compromised decision-making skills are the among the first effects of consuming alcohol, it is important to make a plan for safe transportation in case of intoxication. With fees, jail time and the potential to seriously injury someone, drunk driving is jut not worth it.