If you have been accused of extreme DUI, which means that your blood alcohol level, or BAL, is about twice the legal limit, you will need a lawyer. This is because this offense is considered serious enough to warrant major fines, suspension of your license, and even time in jail. While the exact penalties vary depending on your state, you should learn a few of the most common consequences to expect after you get caught driving under the influence of alcohol. This allows you to see the importance of getting a DUI defense attorney.
In many states, your first offense will get you about a month in jail, with a maximum of about six months in most areas. Unlike the first time you get charged with a regular BAL, you will probably not be able to get out of incarceration without a good lawyer. Your car may be impounded for about a month, and your license will be suspended for three months. You will also have to do community service and attend a substance abuse class. Once you get your car back and are able to legally drive it again, you will need to get an ignition interlock device installed for at least one year, and this costs money. Of course, other costs include fines of up to about $3000, which can vary depending on your BAL and whether you have an effective DUI defense attorney.
A second offense of this type can get you even harsher penalties, such as anywhere from two to six months in jail. Your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year, your vehicle will be impounded for one month, and you will need to use an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for at least a year. Community service and drug and alcohol counseling are also usually required, but you will need to find a ride since you will not be legally allowed to drive. The fines can go up to about $4000, and note that even the best lawyer may have a hard time reducing these by much, unless of course your case is completely dismissed. If you want a chance of getting your case thrown out or the charges reduced, you will need a good DUI defense attorney.
A third offense of extreme BAL while driving is usually considered a felony if it happens within five to ten years of your last offenses, depending on your state. Since this is no longer a misdemeanor, you will spend anywhere from four months to six years in prison, and your license will be suspended for at least three years. Your vehicle will be impounded for a month, and when you get it back and can finally drive again, you will need to use an ignition interlock device for a year and a half. The fines range from $5000 to over $50,000, so be prepared to spend a lot unless you have a fantastic lawyer.
The simple way to avoid these penalties is to not drink and drive. If you have already done so and need help, contact a DUI defense attorney to see what can be done. You may be surprised to find that despite the consequences, all hope is not lost when you are represented legally.