Knowing what happens when you get a DUI will help you get through the process easier because you will know what to expect. Or it can help prevent you from driving while intoxicated if you remind yourself of all the negatives of getting a DUI. There are a lot of costs associated with DUIs. You will lose time and money going through all of the legal repercussions. Below we have covered the most important things you need to know about what happens when you get a DUI.
1. Drunk Driving Is Sometimes a Felony
One of the most important things to know about what happens when you get a DUI is judges rule some cases of drunk driving as felonies. First time convictions of drunk driving are usually ruled as misdemeanors. The circumstances in which drunk driving is considered a felony varies among states and jurisdictions. To know exactly what counts as a felony, you’ll have to look up your state and local law.
Common situations in which your DUI is viewed as a penalty are if you broke other laws at the same time, drove with a suspended license, had children in the vehicle, or you caused bodily harm to someone. A common misunderstanding people have of DUIs is that it only counts as a felony if someone was killed as a result. Injuring someone, whether they’re your passenger or a stranger, can turn your DUI into a felony.
2. You Are Arrested
The first thing that happens when you get a DUI is you’re arrested. You’re placed in the back of the police car and taken to the nearest jail or police station. The officers will take a mugshot of you as well as a fingerprint for their records. What happens when you get a DUI varies from state to state. Some states don’t allow you out on bail until you are sober. Other states allow people to bail you out and drive you home.
3. You Must Appear in Court
When you’re arrested for driving under the influence, the police officer gives you a ticket or summons with a court date. You must appear in court to face the DUI charges. Because of today’s technology, denying the charges isn’t an option. The officer will have a video recording from their dash cam as well as the sobriety test.
4. You Have to Pay a Fine
What happens when you get a DUI in this regard is consistent in all states. You must pay a fine. However, the exact amount of the fine differs depending on state law. States have a minimum and maximum fine in place for DUI convictions. Driving under the influence fines are larger if you damaged someone’s property while intoxicated, injured someone, or endangered a child.
5. Court Costs Are Usually on You
Most states require people who are found guilty of a DUI to pay the court costs. This is another hefty expense you’ll probably have to pay on top of the fine.
6. Your Driver’s Licensed Is Suspended
Another thing that happens when you get a DUI is your driver’s license is suspended. In some states, those who refuse to take a sobriety test after being pulled over by a police officer have their licenses immediately suspended. In other states, your license is only suspended after you appear in court.
7. Repeat Offenders Get More Jail Time
First-time offenders usually only have 1-2 days of mandatory jail time for a DUI. Repeat offenders, however, must serve longer sentences. If other crimes were committed, whether intentionally or unintentionally, while you were intoxicated, you can have extra jail time from those sentences.
8. You May Be Put on Probation
Many people who are convicted of driving under the influence are put on probation. Some judges won’t give you jail time for the DUI but they will put you on probation. If you break the terms of your probation, then you are likely to have to do jail time as a result. It’s important to follow the rules of your probation to avoid going to jail. Jail time results in lost time and money. It can even cause you to lose your job. Another important thing to know about probation is you will usually have to pay the costs of your probation in the form of a monthly fee.
9. You May Have to Attend Drunk Driving School
Most jurisdictions require that you attend drunk driving school in order to earn back your driver’s license. An alcohol and drug education program takes hours of education time. They also assess drinking habits of students to determine if they have an alcohol abuse disorder. The costs of attending drunk driving school comes out of your own pocket. If the alcohol and drug education program determines that you have an alcohol abuse or dependence problem, then you will have to complete a court-approved alcohol treatment program too.
10. Car Insurance Costs Rise
A well-known consequence of getting a DUI is an increase in your car insurance costs. Drunk driving offenders have to get a certain insurance policy known as SR-22 insurance in order to operate a vehicle. SR-22 insurance often doubles or triples a person’s insurance premium. States usually require that you stay on a SR-22 insurance policy for at least three years.
11. The Court May Order an Ignition Interlock Device to be Installed in Your Car
The ignition interlock device is increasingly used to keep the roads safer by requiring DUI offenders to pass a breathalyzer test to start their cars. A car won’t start if you fail the breathalyzer. As with probation, you may have a monthly fee associated with having an ignition interlock device installed in your car.
The eleven things listed above are some of the most important things to know about what happens when you get a DUI. It’s a lot to digest and can put you in a difficult situation. You may have financial strain from all of the different costs associated with a DUI, such as court fees, fines, probation costs, and an increase in auto insurance premiums.
Therefore, if you have ever drove while intoxicated without getting caught before, it’s a good idea to consider enrolling yourself in a program to stop a potential drug or alcohol abuse problem. You don’t want to go through the difficulties of getting a DUI.
Image Source: DepositPhoto.com