My Car Quest

June 21, 2024

What Happens After A First DUI?

Any type of criminal charge can be a harrowing and unsettling affair; it can feel like the walls are closing in and you don’t know what to do next. A DUI charge might not seem as bad as more serious crimes, but it is still very serious. That is because driving while under the influence is something that society understandably looks down upon, which means that the penalties facing DUI offenders can be very severe.

There are many possible outcomes that a person can face after their first DUI and one way of reducing the severity of those outcomes is to hire a DUI defense attorney. They can help their clients by getting the charges reduced or even dismissed entirely. Since a DUI charge can have serious consequences on a person’s driving record, their driving privileges, their insurance rates, and their freedom, it is imperative that they contact a lawyer if they want to avoid the worst of those consequences.


The Penalties for a First DUI

First it should be noted that the penalties for a first DUI include the very first instance of a DUI charge, but also a second charge that occurred a certain amount of time after the first charge. This is called a wash-out period, aka a look-back period, and a second offense that occurs after this period is treated as a first offense. Not every state has a wash-out period and the time varies for the ones that do. In Florida, for example, the wash-out period is five years, but other states have a wash-out period of up to fifteen years.

For a first time DUI offender in Florida, the penalties are as follows:

Licence Suspension – Six months for drivers with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08% or more. One year if the driver refuses to submit to a chemical test. A convicted driver can get a hardship licence which allows them to drive to work, church, school, and medical appointments. Most drivers can apply for a hardship licence after thirty days of their licence suspension, however, those who refused the chemical test will have to wait for ninety days.

Jail Time – Six months for a standard DUI. Nine months if the driver had a BAC of .15% or higher and/or if they had a passenger under eighteen years of age in the car. One year if the driver caused an accident involving property damage or minor injuries. Five years if the driver caused an accident that resulted in serious bodily injuries.

Probation – All first time DUI offenders are placed on probation. However, the combined probation period and jail time cannot exceed one year.

Community Service – Fifty hours for first time offenders.

Vehicle Impoundment – Ten days.

Ignition Interlock Device – These are only mandatory if the driver had a BAC higher than .15% or had a passenger under age eighteen in the vehicle. In either situation, the driver will have an IID installed for six months.

The Consequences of a DUI

In addition to the criminal and administrative penalties, people convicted of a DUI have to face other consequences for their actions. Their car insurance rates could skyrocket to the point where they become unaffordable. They might find it difficult to secure employment or obtain a student loan. A DUI conviction also means that the convicted individual might not be able to obtain a passport, a professional licence, or purchase a firearm. They may also not be allowed to rent a home or work with children.

A DUI Conviction Can Ruin Your Life

Even a first time DUI conviction can have a profound impact on a person’s life. It can be very expensive, it can restrict their freedom, and it can affect their chances of employment or education. Quite simply, nothing good comes from a DUI, which is why everyone should endeavor not to drive while intoxicated; it is good for them and it is good for society. But people make mistakes, and if they do, then they should contact a DUI lawyer as soon as possible because they can get the charges reduced or dismissed. That way they won’t have to face the worst consequences of a DUI charge.



What Happens After A First DUI?
Article Name
What Happens After A First DUI?
Even a first time DUI conviction can have a profound impact on a person’s life. It can be very expensive, it can restrict their freedom, and it can affect their chances of employment or education.

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