What Happens When You Get a DUIFebruary 22, 2017 - Alcohol - 0 Comments
First, you are out partying, and having a great time, then the next minute, you see a cop flip on his lights behind you and you get that massive sinking feeling in your stomach. You’re going to jail. For many people and alcoholics, a DUI is the first real wake-up call that you have a drinking problem. The penalties for DUI’s have gotten stronger and stronger in states all across the U.S. and it’s going to affect your life in a lot of negative ways. Even a first DUI is a sign that you need a drug and alcohol rehab.
First, you’ll be arrested and taken to jail. There is no worse feeling that being handcuffed in the back of a police car. You can stay in jail until you get your day in court or if you have the financial resources, you can enlist the help of a bail bondsman to bail you out. You will get a summons to appear, at which time you can enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. You can also choose to enlist the help of an attorney, who can sometimes help when there is the opportunity to dispute the findings of the police report.
While waiting for your summons date to come, your arrest will have been reported to the DMV and your license will be suspended, which is mandatory. On a first DUI, your license will be suspended for at least a year, sometimes more. You may be to get a permit to or from work for a first offense.
You already can’t drive but this is the part that really hurts by hitting you right in the pocket. You will have to pay a fine. The cost depends on your individual case and how severe it was, but even for a vanilla DUI, you could be looking at $1500 to $2000 minimum as a fine.
You could go to jail. Depending on your state, you can get some jail time for a first offense. It could be as little as 10 days, or more, again, depending on the severity of your case, how intoxicated you were and whether there was bodily injury or property damage. Instead, you typically will receive some sort of public service hours, such as cleaning up trash on the side of freeways or something else the court decides.
Once you get your license back, you may have to install an ignition interlock device. This also costs a lot of money, typically $100 per month for the monitoring which you will need to maintain to keep your license, which could be up to 3 years of having the device in your car.
You will likely also receive probation, meaning you are on thin ice with the court. On a first offense, you may get between 3-5 years, of usually summary probation which doesn’t include reporting to a probation officer.
You will also be court ordered to a drug and alcohol treatment. This can run from $1500 to $2500 and last from 12 to 18 months, one night a week.
You could lose your job if it depends on having transportation, or have trouble getting a new job in the future because it will now be on your record.
And finally, in addition to any attorney’s fees you might have paid, you will be paying a lot more for your auto insurance, sometimes for up 7 years…which adds up to quite a lot.
The Bigger Picture
Most importantly, your individual welfare matter the most. It is probably a good idea to confront and deal with any drinking problem you have. I’d recommend getting a free consultation with a drug and alcohol rehab and seek more information about yourself. The consequences of a DUI are significant, but you can choose to get through it and learn from it and come out a better person on the other side because of it.