How a DUI Affects your Record

Because of the dangers that driving while intoxicated presents to you and those on the road, law enforcement agencies around the country have cracked down over the past two decades.

New laws have been created to deal harshly with those convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

It helps to understand the laws in place for DUI and the consequences that you face if you find yourself in this particular situation. Many people have been caught off-guard by the seriousness of the penalties and how it can affect their lives when convicted of a DUI.

If you have been consuming alcohol and get pulled over by the police, chances are that you will have your Blood Alcohol Count (BAC) tested using a breathalyzer. Currently, all 50 states have set a maximum BAC level of 0.08 which means that if it is exceeded, you will certainly be charged with a DUI or a DWI.

However, some states have created laws with zero tolerance for any alcohol in the system for underage drivers and very harsh penalties for those with 0.16 or higher.

Your life will change dramatically if you get arrested for a DUI, even if this is your first arrest. You will be taken into custody and your car will be towed to the impound lot.

Your driver’s license will be suspended on a temporary basis and you will either need someone to bail you out of jail or you’ll stay incarcerated until you have sobered up. In addition, your vehicle may stay impounded for a period of time depending on local law.

You may face an administrative hearing first that reviews the parameters of the arrest to see if your driver’s license will be suspended.

However, for most that are charged with DUI they will be in court to present the evidence and face the decision. You have the right to a jury trial, but in either case the judge will be the one who decides the punishment if you are found guilty.

If you are found guilty, the punishment will be influenced by the amount you exceeded the BAC minimum as well as any prior convictions for DUI. Plus, depending on your state laws, there may be additional punishments such as mandatory minimum sentencing as well.

  • Suspension or Revocation of Driver’s License
  • Fines & Fees
  • Participation in Drunk Driver Education Seminars or Programs
  • Jail Sentence or Community Service
  • Points Added to Driver’s License
  • Parole

While states have their own laws, rules and regulations that cover DUI, these are the most common that people will face. You may also not be able to consume alcohol while on probation.

Depending on the number of convictions, you may face a permanent revocation of your driver’s license and years in jail. This penalty will increase if you were involved in an accident that caused injuries or death.

While each state has their own guidelines and they can vary somewhat depending on the number of cases, you can expect the penalties to be quite severe if you have multiple convictions.

If you’ve ever been arrested for driving under the influence you can check your records to see if it has been added to your background report.