Each year, nearly one million people are arrested for driving under the influence. While this number is staggering enough on its own, the truth is that there are millions more who drink and drive and never get caught.
If you find yourself on the other side of the spectrum and are facing DUI charges, however, you need to start looking into the potential penalties for DUIs in your state. This isn’t to scare you, but to prepare you for the possibilities.
The Most Common Penalties for DUIs
Penalties for DUIs vary from state to state and based on the unique circumstances of the night you were arrested. For example, if you were pulled over for the first time, barely over the limit, and without incident, your penalties should be minimal.
On the other hand, if you were arrested because you drove your car into a building, parked vehicle, or traffic, the fines will be worse. In the tragic event that there are injuries or fatalities, the penalties for DUIs can change drastically.
Regardless of the situation, penalties often go hand in hand. You’ll receive some combination of some or all of the following.
1. Community Service
One of the more common penalties for DUI charges is community service. The number of hours required of you depends on the charges and the judge overseeing your case. Typically, people charged with DUIs help anti-drunk driving organizations, clean sections of highways, speak to groups about drinking and driving, etc.
2. Suspended License
Almost all states will suspend your license after you’ve been charged with a DUI. For some states, like Kansas, the minimum charge is only one month. However, in several other states, like Texas, it can be up to a year.
There are extenuating circumstances for each case which may or may not allow you to keep your license. This is where you need a professional defense attorney to get involved and plead your case.
3. Time in Jail
In most scenarios, if you’re pulled over or arrested for a DUI, you’ll need to sleep off your intoxication in a jail cell. After 24 hours, you’re released and sent on your way to prepare for the sentencing. Legal sentencing may result in more jail time.
In Texas, you can serve anywhere from three days to 6 months in jail.
4. Ignition Interlock Devices
While Texas typically doesn’t bother with IIDs, many states make it mandatory for those charged with DUIs, especially if their license isn’t revoked for one reason or another. Ignition interlock devices are connected to your vehicle. You must blow a zero alcohol level before it will allow your vehicle to start.
Lastly, almost all states fine DUI offenders. If you damaged property or caused other damage, you’ll be fined the amount due to make amends to the recipient. However, common penalties for DUIs also include fines owed to the state.
In Texas, you can be charged up to $2,000.
Do You Need Legal Representation?
While we never advocate drinking and driving, we also don’t believe anyone should ever be charged without legal representation. That’s where we come in. We want to genuinely listen to the circumstances of your case and help you any way we can.
Contact us today to talk about your case. Let’s get things figured out.