What Penalties Apply When Drunk Driving?

What Penalties Apply When Drunk Driving? 

When it comes to driving under the influence, there are many different penalties. Some are very serious, while others are more minor. It is important to understand what these penalties are so you can prepare for them if you ever find yourself in this situation. 

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First Time Offenses

The first time you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, you will face a misdemeanor charge that can result in fines and/or a jail sentence. The severity of your penalty depends on several factors, including the amount of alcohol you have in your system, the extent of your impairment, and whether or not anyone was injured as a result of your actions. 

Penalties for Repeat Offenses

The penalties for a second or third offense can be more severe, including a fine and/or a jail term. This is particularly true if there were any injuries or deaths as a result of your driving. 

Ignition Interlock Devices

Ignition interlock devices are devices that detect the level of alcohol in a driver’s blood. When the device detects a high level, it will prevent them from starting their vehicle. This has proven to be effective in keeping drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel. 

License Suspension

In many states, your driver’s license can be suspended after you’ve been arrested for drinking and driving. These suspensions are usually based on the officer’s report and your BAC results. In some cases, a driver may be granted a “hardship” license to drive to and from work or school during the suspension. 

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s important to consult with an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can review your case, help you determine a defense strategy and discuss your options in court. 

Zero Tolerance Laws

In Maine, the law prohibits anyone under 21 years old from operating a motor vehicle with any level of alcohol in their blood. This includes both commercial and non-commercial vehicles. 

A conviction of a DUI under this law will result in a year-long suspension of your license. It also may affect your employment or insurance company. 

The state will take a look at your driving record and make recommendations for how to avoid future DUI charges. This can include taking classes on DUI prevention, completing a DUI treatment program or other steps to improve your behavior. 

You’ll have to pay a fine and/or serve probation, depending on your state. This can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the situation and your circumstances. 

Having a felony conviction on your driving record can have a negative impact on your job opportunities and insurance rates. This is especially true if you are employed in a profession that requires you to drive, such as a taxi or pedicab. 

Refusal to submit to a chemical test

If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, you will be arrested and given a one-year driver’s license suspension. If you have a second refusal within seven years, your license will be automatically suspended for two years. 

What Penalties Apply When Drunk Driving? | Montag Law Office