What Are the Fines For Drunk Driving?
In the United States, DUI (driving under the influence) is a serious offense, with the potential to result in imprisonment, license revocation, and fines. A DUI can be a misdemeanor or felony. Although each state is different, penalties generally follow a similar pattern. If you are arrested for drunk driving, you should hire an experienced criminal attorney to help you understand your specific charges and the best way to respond to them.
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Most states impose mandatory fines and jail time, while others impose discretionary sentences. Some states may require first-time offenders to perform community service. Others may suspend or revoke the driver’s license for up to six months. Depending on the severity of the offense, a jail term may be up to one year. Additionally, insurance companies may drop your coverage if you are convicted of a drunk driving offense.
Fines can be as low as $200 for the first offense and as high as $500 for the second. First-time DWI offenders also have to pay IDRC fees. This can be in addition to the mandatory fine of $300 to $500. Depending on the circumstances, additional penalties can be imposed, such as ignition interlock devices, vehicle immobilization, and driver’s license suspension.
For the third DWI offense, the minimum fine is $1,000. The maximum is $2,000, and a jail sentence can be up to 180 days. Of course, each court has a different discretion. If you were in a car accident with someone who was killed or injured, you could be subject to additional penalties.
A second DUI within five years results in a license revocation for at least six months. Similarly, a second DWAI within five years leads to a license suspension of at least three months. However, the revocation of the driver’s license can last for up to 18 months for a second aggravated DUI.
Third DUI convictions that result in great bodily injury are punishable by a minimum fine of $1,015 to $5,000 and up to two to four years in prison. Drivers with more than three alcohol-related offenses within ten years will have their license permanently revoked.
Drivers under 21 who are caught drinking and driving will face a civil penalty of $550 and a license suspension of at least 18 months. They may also be required to participate in an alcohol treatment program or participate in an alcohol education program. Underage drinkers who have caused an injury will face a fine of up to $1,000.
First-time DWI offenders must attend IDRC for a period of 12 to 48 hours. Those convicted of a second DUI may be ordered to participate in an alcohol education program. During probation, they may be asked to install an ignition interlock device. These devices require the driver to blow into the unit before resuming driving. Ignition interlock devices are relatively expensive and can cost hundreds of dollars.
Other than the legal punishments and costs, a DWI conviction can negatively impact your reputation and employment opportunities. Those convicted of drunk driving have to undergo a separate civil lawsuit if the accident victim sues them.