Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can have significant consequences. If you or a loved one has been arrested for this crime, you should contact an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible to help you defend against the charges.
Although the most common charge associated with driving under the influence is drunk driving, there are many other substances that can impair an individual’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. These include prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs.
Loss of Driver’s License
Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense that can lead to an immediate loss of your driver’s license. This is especially true for repeat offenders or those who have a history of traffic violations like accumulating too many speeding tickets in a given period of time.
Law enforcement officers can test you for alcohol or drug impairment whenever they suspect you’re impaired while behind the wheel. These tests typically involve asking you to breathe into a machine, take a blood or urine test, or to submit to a sobriety checkpoint.
Depending on your state’s laws, a conviction of DUI may result in the loss of your driver’s license for a minimum of one year, 5 years for a second offense within a 20-year period, or even for life in some cases. This can be a significant financial burden and it’s important to work with an experienced attorney who knows how to effectively fight the suspension or revocation of your license.
Increased Insurance Premiums
Driving under the influence is a serious offense, and if you get convicted of it, it will affect your car insurance rates. How much these costs will increase depends on both the charge and your state, but the average premium hike after a DUI is around 74%.
In general, it will take three to five years for car insurance rates to start to return to normal after a DUI conviction. However, if you have a clean record since your last incident, it may only take a few more years for your rates to come back down to a reasonable level.
When it comes to insurance, it is important to shop around every three to five years. This will allow you to find the cheapest rates available in your area. You can also check out usage-based insurance programs, which are discounts you receive if you use a telematics device to monitor your driving habits and report them to your insurer.
Time in Jail
A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) carries severe legal consequences. Even for a first offense, drivers can face jail time and fines.
Depending on the state, a DUI can also result in a revocation of a driver’s license. This is especially true for drivers who have prior convictions or are convicted of a DWI with certain aggravating factors.
In New Jersey, a first-time DUI charge carries mandatory penalties that include between $300 and $500 in fines, an additional 30-day license suspension, and possible Ignition Interlock requirement.
However, many DUI offenders are allowed to leave jail on their own recognizance (O.R.), without paying bond. Occasionally, these offenders will have to complete community service hours. These are usually assigned by the judge. In addition, they may be required to attend a DUI alcohol education class. The court can impose a number of other conditions as part of probation, such as community labor or service, attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and/or substance use disorder therapy.
The legal fees associated with driving under the influence can be quite substantial. These fees include everything from court costs to attorney fees.
DUI lawyers vary in price, as their experience, reputation, and level of resources will impact their cost. Moreover, the type of crime charged will also affect their pricing structure.
For example, a first-time DUI will typically cost less than a DUI conviction for a minor. However, a second offense will result in much higher costs.