What happens if you get a DUI? 10 Things That Could Happen to You if You Get a DUI*
First, you will be arrested. Following your breathalyzer test and/or failed sobriety test, you will be on your way to the nearest police station or jail. There you will be booked on suspicion of DUI. The booking process will include the gathering of your personal information, fingerprints, a photograph, and the confiscation of personal items.
Once arrested, you will get a ticket or a summons with a court date. During your court appearance, you will be presented with the evidence against you and required to plead innocent or guilty. Keep in mind this evidence often includes the arresting officer’s dashboard video of your field sobriety test.
Regardless of which state you live in, your sentence will include a suspension of your driver’s license for a period of time. Suspension time can vary, but some states will allow you to apply for a hardship
or restricted license.
You will be responsible for paying all the fees associated with your DUI. The total cost will depend on the state, type of charge, if there was property damage, or if injury occurred. In many states you will also be required to pay the court fees associated with your case.
In many states, you can receive jail time even if this is your first drunk driving offense. First-time offenders typically receive one or two days. However, jail time can increase for repeat offenders depending on the amount and circumstances surrounding your case.
Some states will give you a probation sentence instead of jail time which is determined by the sentencing judge. If you receive probation you will need to regularly visit a probation officer and will incur an additional fine for your supervision, typically paid monthly. If you fail to meet the terms of probation you could serve jail time.
The majority of states require drunk driving school before reinstating your driving privileges. These classes include several hours of preventative education, and there is an additional fee you must pay to attend.
To assess if you have an alcohol addiction, you might be required to undergo an alcohol evaluation. A counselor will assess if you have an alcohol abuse disorder which could lead to mandatory alcohol treatment programs before your driving privileges are reinstated.
In addition to your arrest, court date, fees, classes, and assessment, your insurance premiums can double, or even triple. Many states require you to get a special insurance policy, known as SR-22 insurance, before you can operate your vehicle again.
Many states require DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device, even if you are a first-time offender. These devices are installed on your personal vehicle and require you to provide an alcohol-free breath test before allowing your vehicle to start. There is an additional monthly maintenance fee associated with the ignition interlock device as well.