What You Should Know About First Offense DUI vs Second Offense DUI
DUI charges continue to be a concern with many motorists. The consequences and costs associated with a conviction are severe and costly. While a first offense DUI or second offense DUI is often considered a misdemeanor in the eyes of the law, other circumstances could bring felony charges. Depending on the circumstances, if there was property damage, an injury or death, and in some cases a much higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest, defendants may be charged with at least one felony.
Depending upon different states, statutes, jurisdictions, and laws, for the most part, those who have a BAC of .08 or higher while operating a motorized vehicle (or riding a bicycle) can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor according to this legal infographic. In some rare cases, someone with a first offense may have the charge reduced to a “wet reckless” offense which is much less severe. However, it will still count as a first offense DUI if a driver is convicted of a similar charge in the future that involves drugs or alcohol.
First Offense DUI
When convicted of a DUI for the first (and hopefully the last) time, violators are looking at mandatory jail time of at least 24 hours and up to six months behind bars. Other consequences and costs may also include:
- A base fine of several hundred dollars at a minimum
- Drivers license suspension of between 90 and 360 days
- The potential installation of an ignition interlock device may be necessary as part of a hardship plea to retain a driver’s license
- Possible community service or probation
In some cases, those convicted are required to complete an alcohol or drug assessment process. They may also be mandated to attend drug or alcohol counseling or an educational course. Probation is often set into place to ensure all the above matters have been successfully addressed, fulfilled, and completed as required. A probation violation could stem from the failure to install an ignition interlock device or pay a fee and could lead those convicted back to jail or with even more fines.
Second Offense DUI
As with any offense, repeat DUI charges will bring more serious consequences. For someone who has been convicted of a second offense DUI, consequences may include:
- Jail time
- Alcohol or drug screening charges
- Mandatory drug or alcohol classes
- Many hours of community service and the possibility of attending driving school
- A temporary suspension of driving privileges
Depending upon the gap of how long a driver has been without a license, some Department of Motor Vehicles offices will require a written or behind-the-wheel test to have this document reissued. Another common stipulation in getting a driver’s license following a second conviction is to obtain an SR-22 (or proof of insurance), which can be costly. Speaking of additional costs, most drivers can also expect car insurance rates to skyrocket following a first or second conviction.
Once the driver’s license suspension has been lifted, most violators are required to install an IID (interlock ignition device), have it serviced, and maintained for at least one year. Costs will vary and locating a licensed IID provider is the responsibility of the person convicted.
When the installation of an IID is a part of your DUI charges or terms of probation, please contact us today. Here at Draeger Interlock, we’re the nation’s leading manufacturer and service providers of these mandated devices. As such, our ignition systems are designed to administer tests quickly so you can get back on the road. Remember, save money and lives, don’t drink and drive!
*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. Dräger did not create nor develop and does not own, any such third-party websites. Dräger does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in any such third-party website links. Dräger is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.