Driving Under the Influence is an infraction committed by people driving while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and have reached the limits set by law. Typically, the state you reside in has a set amount of alcohol in your bloodstream when driving and can still be considered legal. The same goes for different kinds of drugs.
The punishment for a first-offense DUI differs from state to state and depends on several factors. The most crucial factor is the blood alcohol level during the arrest. If you were caught driving under the influence of a blood alcohol level, the higher it is, the stricter your punishment is likely to be. If caught by a breathalyzer, you may be sentenced to jail. Your license can be revoked or suspended if you are sentenced to jail.
The punishment for second and third offense DUIs differ from state to state and depends on several factors, such as blood alcohol level at the time of arrest, which case the judge had heard before, or the type of conviction DUI is not considered a crime in some states when a first-time offender commits it.
The judge can revoke, suspend or cancel your license. If your license has been revoked, you cannot drive for a specific time. If it is suspended, you will be able to drive again after that time elapses, but you must have an interlock device installed to do so.
How to Retain Your License After a DUI?
Regardless of the consequences of a DUI, you still have the right to challenge the decision of a judge or any law enforcement official who issues or revokes the license. A DUI defense lawyer can challenge the decision of a prosecutor, an arresting police officer, or any other law enforcement official who might have issued a sentence or revoked your license. A DUI attorney can defend you in court and reduce your sentence if convicted. Suppose a DUI arrest occurs in front of a judge. In that case, the lawyer can represent you during the court trial and provide ways to help in compelling arguments that may reduce your sentence or eliminate it.
In most situations, you have the right to keep your license if you are willing to go for a DUI class and attend a mandatory alcohol education program. In some states, you must complete the program within a specific period. When it is all set and done, a certificate of completion will be issued by your instructor as proof that you attended classes. That certificate will be sent to your state agency and included in your file.
For some people, retaining a license can be difficult. Maintaining a license can be very difficult if it is not too far from your home or if you have dependents. That is why some states allow for endorsements of licenses when there are issues with the representation of a driver’s skill or ability to drive safely.
The Consequences of Not Retaining the License After a DUI
Even if you still possess a license, you may face several consequences. For example, while some cars are equipped with interlock devices that measure alcohol levels in the driver’s exhaled breath, other individuals may be forced to rely on public transportation to get where they need to go.
In some cases, drivers may increase their insurance rates due to a DUI conviction. Depending on your employer, your job description, and the nature of your business, DUI convictions can also impact your ability to remain employed.
Further, if you are caught driving with a revoked or suspended license, you may find yourself at the mercy of state officials again, and unfortunately, those punishments can be far more severe than if you were caught the first time. If that happens, your best course of action would be to retain legal representation immediately and have them advise you on your options.
The consequences of a DUI are not always easy to handle. You may find hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in fines and other costs. You may be faced with community service or even jail time as well. But, if you retain the services of a DUI attorney, you can increase your chances of keeping your license after a first-time DUI and avoid long-lasting consequences.