Did you know? Drunk driving is the leading cause of death and accidents in streets and highways. And because it’s so rampant today, the penalties for such action had been increased. In this article, we will learn some of them.
DUI or Driving Under the Influence is defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary as driving while affected by more than the legal amount of alcohol. Some also termed it as DWI or Driving While Intoxicated.
In all states, the legal age for drinking is at least 21 years old. Though laws may vary in every state, all defendants in any crime are always innocent until proven guilty. One of the factors considered in giving the penalty is the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).
What is Blood Alcohol Concentration? It is usually expressed as the percentage of ethanol found in the blood in units of mass of alcohol per volume of blood, or mass of alcohol per mass of blood, depending on the country.
The legal limit is 0.08% alcohol, and the DUI offender will take a breath test using a breathalyzer. If the offender refused or failed to take the breath test, even though he is not yet proven guilty, the arresting officer is in authority to take the offender’s driver’s license as mandated by the Administrative License Revocation (ALR). The penalty for the first offense or misdemeanor is usually jail time up to six months, but may sometimes increase for certain circumstances.
Driver’s License, Car and Car Insurance Penalty. The DUI Offender driver’s license will be suspended. It’s classified in three categories. For the first offense, it will be 90 days suspension. For the second offense, it will be a one-year suspension. And lastly, for the third offense, it will be three years suspension. In some state laws, suspension of driver’s license is not the only penalty. The state is also in authority to seize the DUI offender’s car or cancel the car’s registration.
This could be temporary, but in the worst cases, it could be permanent. With regards to the insurance company of the offender, they can either increase the rates or have the insurance policy canceled. DUI charge is a bad record and it will appear on the offender’s record for many years.
Other Forms of Penalty. The DUI offender could also possibly be alcohol or drug dependent. Some might already have an addiction. In such cases, the states’ court offers assessment and medical treatment. The offender might also undergo counseling programs and community service.
For Felony Cases. It is considered a felony if the DUI offender had been convicted several times for the same reason, or if he had injured or killed someone. For several convictions of the same reason, the DUI offender’s civil rights will be affected—such as the right to own a weapon or the right to vote as mandated by the Habitual Violator Law. If the offender had injured or killed someone, he will pay all the damages and monetary charges.
Aside from jail sentences, the court can also enforce fines ranging between 500 to 2000 dollars. It all depends on the state laws and the judge’s discretion.
For Minor Offenders. In some cases, the DUI offender is underage—or below 21 years old. In some states, the BAC Levels is one of the bases for the penalty. Also, there may be instances when the penalties given to an adult offender is the same as a minor offender. For minor DUI offenders, the driver’s license will be suspended for a year.
Thus, drunk driving is not a way to have fun. It can lead to injuries, and even more serious consequences. So, before you drink and drive, think about the results and penalties for DUI.