What are the penalties for a DUI conviction?
Specific penalties differ from state to state for a DUI conviction, but they should be taken seriously no matter where you are. DUI penalties often include jail time, suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, costly fines and penalties, community service, alcohol classes and ignition interlock devices. Other consequences include the ripple effect on relationships, jobs, finances and more.
If you have prior DUI convictions, or if your DUI resulted in an accident, serious injury or death, you may be charged with a felony DUI. A felony DUI conviction means you may be facing a year or more in prison.
Types of DUI Penalties and Sentences
Penalties for a DUI conviction may include any or all of the following:
- Fines and Penalties
- Loss of Driving Privileges
- Court-ordered Rehabilitation
- Mandatory alcohol programs (such as Alcoholics Anonymous)
- Community Service
In some jurisdictions, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device following a DUI conviction. An interlock device works much like a breathalyzer test and only allows you to start your car if the device detects no alcohol. Of course, if you are required to use an ignition interlock device, you have to pay the cost of the device and its installation.
You also run the risk of losing your vehicle completely, since some jurisdictions allow police to seize vehicles used in a DUI and sell them at auction.
How much are DUI penalties?
DUI penalties vary from state to state, running anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. But the financial cost of a DUI conviction goes beyond the penalties and fines. Insurance rates may go up. Employment could be in jeopardy. Jail time means lost wages while bills pile up unpaid. Having your driving privileges revoked make running the simplest of errands difficult, adding stress to an already difficult and costly situation.
With so much at stake, consider talking to a licensed DUI attorney as soon as possible. Most DUI attorneys offer free consultations (by completing the form on this page, local licensed attorneys will call you for free) and can assess your case based on their experience and knowledge. Not having the benefit of a DUI attorney can be a costly mistake that will last for many years to come.