There are obviously a lot of bad things that can happen when you get pulled over and arrested for Driving Under the Influence. After handling thousands of DWI/DUI cases over the years, we have compiled a list of the 5 most common and harmful consequences of a DWI/DUI arrest.
1. Criminal Penalties
The most obvious consequence is the criminal penalties that one might face following a DWI/DUI arrest. A first alcohol offense is usually a misdemeanor, but they typically carry up to six months in jail, up to a $500 fine, or a combination of both. Second offenses often carry mandatory jail, and up to 1 year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, or both. A third or subsequent alcohol offense is a felony, and the penalties obviously get harsher from there, typically resulting in time in prison.
2. Driver’s License Suspensions
There are a variety of driver’s license suspensions that can result in a DWI/DUI case. If the driver blows over .08% on a breathalyzer, suspensions range from ninety days to 6 months, depending on your jurisdiction. If a driver refuses to blow, the suspensions are typically up to a year, and some states even have criminal penalties for refusing the test. Criminal convictions result in even longer suspensions. In order to get reinstated there are reinstatement fees, alcohol classes that are required, special insurance, and sometimes even a requirement for an ignition interlock to be placed on your vehicle.
3. Monetary Consequences
One of the major consequences to DWI/DUI charges are monetary consequences. Hiring a good Springfield Missouri DWI/DUI attorney is not cheap. For the attorney alone, prices can range from $2,000 on a first offense, up to much higher on subsequent offenses. On a first offense DWI, aside from the attorney, the offender is usually looking at least at $1,000 in fines, $500 in program costs, and additional special insurance fees. The prices of everything goes up on a second and subsequent offense.
4. Civil Consequences
A not so uncommon result of driving while intoxicated or under the influence is causing an accident. Should someone get hurt in the accident, aside from likely prison or jail time, the driver is staring the likelihood of a civil lawsuit right in the face. The significance of the injuries would determine how much the injured party is seeking in the lawsuit, but either way the intoxicated driver would be personally liable for every penny, even if it is determined that they are not at fault. If you’re intoxicated and are in an accident, it is presumed to be your fault.
5. Employment Problems
Having a DWI/DUI conviction on your record can wreak havoc on your potential for employment. One of the first questions on any job application is “have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor” or even “have you ever been arrested”. The second you have to answer “yes” to either of those questions and have to state that it is for a DWI/DUI, your odds of landing the job go down dramatically.
Consequences of DWI/DUI arrests and convictions are harsh to say the least. Be safe and be smart.
Thanks to our friend and blog author, Adam Woody of the Law Office of Adam Woody, for his insight into DUI/DWI consequences.