What Penalties Apply When Drunk Driving?
When a person is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer may ask the driver to submit to a chemical test. This involves testing the person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level through a breath, blood, or urine test. The results of this testing are then used in determining whether the driver was legally under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
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The penalties that apply when a person is convicted of driving under the influence vary by state. They include fines, jail time, license restrictions, and probation. Some states even require that the driver undergo alcohol or drug treatment.
Jail time for a first offense is usually not very long and it can be avoided by taking the correct classes, getting help, and attending rehabilitation programs. However, there are a few states that have mandatory minimum jail sentences for all drunk driving offenses. In Colorado, for example, the minimum jail time for a first offense is five days; for a second offense, it’s 10 days; and for a third offense, it’s 60 days.
Penalties are more severe when the BAC is high or the driver has a history of drunk driving and the conviction was accompanied by a serious injury to another person. Additionally, some states have enhanced penalties for drivers who commit a DUI while a minor under 14 is in the car.
Refusal to Take a Breath, Blood, or Urine Test
Refusal to take a breath, blood, or urine test can result in longer DL suspensions and revocations. If a driver refuses to take these tests, the state could impose a license revocation for up to a year.
A DUI conviction can also cause a driver’s insurance company to cancel his or her policy or increase rates dramatically. In addition, the conviction stays on a driver’s record for many years.
Driver’s License Suspension
After a DUI conviction, the driver’s license will be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles or the court, depending on the state and circumstances. Some states will allow you to obtain a restricted license during the suspension period so that you can continue driving to work, school or other activities.
Other possible punishments include the confiscation of your vehicle and forfeiture or cancellation of your registration. Alternatively, the state could demand that you install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle so that it can’t be started until you pass a chemical test.
The fine for a first-offense DUI is usually a few hundred dollars. In some cases, the fine can be up to a thousand dollars. Besides this, you’ll have to pay the costs of a breath, blood or urine test.
In Nebraska, there are some very strict laws about how much alcohol can be in your system while you drive. The law says you can’t drive with a BAC of.02% or higher.
For a second DUI within ten years, the monetary penalty is up to $1,000 and up to one year in prison. A third conviction carries a fine of $2,000 to $10,000 and up to seven years in prison.