Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense, and a conviction can lead to very heavy consequences. Even first-time offenders can expect license suspension, jail time, community service, and mandatory attendance at alcohol classes.
What are the penalties for DUI?
Even for first-time DUI offenders, a conviction could result in severe penalties, including:
- Fines: For a first-time DUI offense, you could pay a fine between $390 to $1,000, in addition to other penalty assessments, which could add up to several thousand dollars or more.
- Jail: A DUI conviction could also result in jail time, even for first-time offenders. It could be as little as 48 hours or as much as six months, depending on the details of your case.
- State prison: A felony DUI conviction can lead to incarceration in a state prison.
- License suspension: It is common for first-time DUI offenders to have their license suspended, usually for six months. You could have an additional four-month administrative suspension tacked on if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .08% or more.
- Probation: You may also receive a three-year term of informal probation. You would be expected to complete a three-month DUI course (30 hours of classes). If your BAC was .20% or higher, your program is increased to nine months (60 hours of classes).
For those with prior convictions for DUI, the penalties increase in severity, resulting in the loss of more privileges. For example, you may have to attend a mandatory second-offender DUI school for 18 to 30 months and have a driver interlock device installed on your vehicle for one year.