Driving while intoxicated penalties can vary by state but for the most part, they are commonplace nationwide. You will be fined and probably serve jail time for a DUI no matter the number of offenses you’ve had. You can also expect to spend some time in court.

It’s never a bad idea to hire a lawyer if you’ve been cited for driving under the influence of alcohol. Your lawyer can help you navigate the court proceedings and may be able to lessen the severity of your penalties, including reduced jail time. Be cautioned that you will need the funds to pay for a lawyer which can cost anywhere from $5000-$25000.

If you’re facing drunk driving penalties and you don’t know what to expect, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re discussing the various penalties you’ll face for driving drunk. Keep reading to learn more.

Common Drunk Driving Penalties – Nationwide

How long do you stay in jail for a DUI? What are the court costs? How much is this going to cost me overall?

These are some common questions people have about DUIs. The truth is, it depends on your specific case as to what the judge deems necessary for your punishment. Here’s what you can expect in most scenarios.

First Offense

Your first offense for a DUI is considered a misdemeanor. Court costs will range from $500-$2000 and in most cases, your license will be suspended for at least 90 days. Some states may offer a ‘hardship license’ which allows you to drive to and from work or other responsible obligations.

Second Offense

A DUI sentencing for a second offense usually involves suspension of your license for at least one year. You can expect the same court costs and up to six months in jail as well as community service.

Third Offense and More

DUI prison time can be expected for your third or more offenses. The courts do not take drinking and driving lightly. By now, you can expect a felony on your record and suspension of your license for at least three years.

Underage Offenders

Underage drinking and driving penalties are often worse than for legal age drinkers. The legal drinking age in most states is 21, therefore making drinking under this age a crime in itself. You can expect to have your license suspended for at least one year, even if it’s your first offense.

Final Thoughts

Drunk driving penalties are nothing to scoff at. If you’ve been drinking, the best thing you can do for yourself is to avoid getting behind the wheel at all costs. Find a designated driver before your night on the town or plan to pay for a taxi at the end of the night.

The consequences of drinking and driving far outweigh the costs. Not to mention that those consequences involve even more costs in the form of fines and penalties that will be far more than you would have paid for a ride home.

If you’ve been cited for a DUI and you still have questions, or you think you may need a lawyer, feel free to contact us. We’re your number one source for legal services.


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