When a person is convicted or pleads guilty to driving under the influence of substances (Driving under Influence [DUI] or Driving While Intoxicated [DWI]), the appropriate legal punishment is determined in the sentencing phase.
Different penalties for the person guilty of DUI can be imposed, such as:
- Incarceration (short-term). In many states, the offenders who commit first offense may be deprived of their liberty for a short period in prison; however, several states strongly punish those who commit this crime for the first time and impose other penalties listed here.
- Incarceration (long-term). They could receive stricter penalties on offenders that reoffend DUI offenses they are convicted of offenses of aggravated DUI or DUI offenses have been committed and caused injury or death to another person.
- Suspension or revocation of driver’s license. Many states suspended the license of a drunk driver, even is the first time when committing the crime. The duration of a suspension or revocation of the license varies widely by jurisdiction and the nature of the crime.
- Use of ignition interlocks devices (Ignition Interlock Devices, IID). In many states, a crime committed after DUI laws allow or require the use of these devices (which block the ignition of a car until an alcohol breath sample is provided).
- Seizure of vehicles. in some states, laws allows or requires the seizure of the vehicle of who are repeat DUI offenses.
- Information about drug / alcohol rehabilitation. Many states require or permit the completion of information programs or courses on drugs or alcohol before restoring driving permit for those who committed a DUI offense.
- Community service. A sentencing judge may impose different types of community service for committing a DUI offense.
- Probation is an alternative to incarceration and is a period in which the defendant has certain restrictions and requirements, such as community service and has a restricted license.
- SCRAM bracelets. As a penalty or when the offender is on probation, some jurisdictions allow the use of these ankle bracelets that monitor the level of alcohol.
Penalties are generally issued immediately after a DUI conviction and the sentencing judge receives inputs from prosecution and defense in some cases. The judge will consider the punishments and penalties that are identified in the applicable statutes of the Criminal Code or the Code of Transit, and different step-specific factors, among others:
- Criminal history and record of the accused DUI offenses
- Impact of crime on victims of DUI (i.e., if injury or death is caused)
- Personal, economic and social circumstances of the accused
- Expression of regret or remorse on the part of the defendant
Consult an attorney specialized in DUI
If you or a family member is arrested for DUI, you may need the services of an experienced DUI lawyer. An attorney who specializes in defending DUI charges evaluate all the evidence, including the procedure and the results of field sobriety tests and chemical substances, to ensure that their rights are protected. It is also important to talk to a doctor familiar with the laws of your jurisdiction lawyer. Most offer free consultations, so your first step should be to contact a lawyer specializing in DUI.
- Breathe test refusals – Illegal
- Defenses for drunk driving