We all know that driving under influence is illegal and punishable. It is a very serious offense because it poses dangers to everyone around the vehicle. But, sometimes, bad decisions can be made even by the kindest and respectful people. When you are under the influence of alcohol, it is common to make those kinds of bad decisions. So, if you got your DUI for the first time, you probably want to know what is going to happen and what are the consequences going to look like.
However, not every country or state handles DUIs the same way. Sometimes, the consequences or punishments can be short-term while in other states it can be long-term. But, is there anything you could do to reduce the seriousness of the punishment? I do not think there is a straight-up answer to that question.
Although, I could give you some information to understand what is going to happen if you get a DUI for the very first time.
You are going to get arrested
If you have decided to drive your vehicle with alcohol in your blood and you get stopped by the police, they will probably notice. Of course, there are some situations when the police could fail to detect that you are drunk, but that rarely happens. If you do manage to get out of that situation, great.
If not, this is what you should expect. First, you will either go through the field sobriety test to assess drunk driving or you are going to blow on a breathalyzer. If the breathalyzer shows that you have over the legal limit of alcohol in your blood, you have officially done a crime and you are about to be arrested.
Keep in mind, not every state handles the situation this way, but most of them do. So, I suggest that you be ready for a day or two in jail.
Do not panic, it is not as scary as it seems. Just make sure that you stay calm and follow the instructions of the police officer. Whatever they tell you to do, do it. After that, they are going to sit you in the back of the police car and they will drive you back to the station. Do not worry, they will call for someone to pick up your vehicle.
If this is your first offense, you will stay in a jail cell for about 24 hours or maybe more. Although, you do have the option to call your lawyer or family member that might get you out of jail. All of this depends on different factors.
You might get your license suspended
Going for a day or two in a jail cell might not seem like the most pleasant thing, but I do not think that is the worst thing about getting a DUI. The worst thing about it is the repercussions that come after it. One of those repercussions is the fact that you might get your license suspended. In other words, you will not be allowed to drive a car for some time.
How long it is going to be suspended depends on a lot of different factors. The outcome varies from person to person. For first time offenders, the suspension can be anywhere from two or three months and up to six. In certain states, it might be more than that. For example, in Louisiana, with your first DWI, you could lose your license for 12 months. Sometimes even 24 months if your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.20.
However, if you hire an attorney, the consequences might not be as bad. You could cut down on the jail time and the driver’s license suspension as suggested by lawyercarl.com.
For the person that gets a second or third DUI, it is possible that they will lose their license for a year or more. For some people, this could be a serious problem because their jobs rely on a driver’s license.
You will have to pay fines
Most of the first time DUI offenders have to pay a certain fine. The fine can range anywhere between $100 and up to $2,000. Again, it depends on the laws in your state. The maximum fine for such a misdemeanor in Louisiana is just $1,000.
Naturally, there will be a deadline for paying this fine. Make sure you pay it on time, otherwise, you might end up in deeper legal problems. You could try working with an attorney to cut down the price of the fine. It is possible to cut it down by 30% or 40%. It depends on the lawyer and the judge. You might be lucky enough to get a good judge to cut down on your fine.
Probation or community service
Sometimes, even first-time DUI offenders could get a month or two in jail. But, most of the time it is either a few days in jail combined with a few hundred hours of community service or probation. For most, probation sounds like the better option, but honestly, court-ordered community service is not that bad. You made a mistake and you make up for it by doing some good deeds. Does not sound bad, right?
On some occasions, the judge can allow you to choose the community service by yourself. You got quite a variety of options to choose from. You could volunteer in a church, for debris cleaning, or dog shelters. If you want, you can even give speeches in schools to tell them about the dangers of drunk driving.
Keep in mind, you might not get an option to pick and the judge will decide for you. So, keep your expectations low and expect anything. You will probably get around 50 hours of community service which is not a lot. A week or two of work and you will probably finish your 50 hours.
As you can see, there are quite a few possibilities when you get your first DUI. If you are equipped with a good lawyer, you will probably go down the easiest route.