Any DUI is a criminal charge that carries probation, a stiff fine, jail time, or sometimes all three. However, a second or third DUI offense is treated differently than the first offense.
The First DUI Offense
The first DUI, or Driving under the Influence conviction can be a wake-up call for some. The penalties and punishments meted out by the individual fifty United States can differ slightly, depending on state laws and ordinances concerning drunk driving. Generally, you can count on the following to happen for the first DUI offense:
- Court Probation for a period of three to five years.
- Court fees and other costs in addition to fines, the total of which can be as much as $1800 or more, depending on the blood alcohol level of the defendant.
- Loss of Driver License for 6 months to a year.
- Attendance at a court approved DUI program or school is often required during the first DUI.
- Depending upon the state where the DUI offense took place, up to 48 hours of jail time may be mandatory.
The Second DUI Offense
When a person’s second DUI offense takes place, the courts generally charge a larger fine. The driver license is suspended for two years, possibly with a restricted license to follow this period. Other changes include:
- An ignition breath tester is also installed in the DUI offender’s vehicle in some states.
- DUI programs for the second DUI offense can last as long as 18 months in some locations.
- A second offense DUI can net the guilty party as few s ten days in jail.
- Some states require a minimum of thirty days. The state of California requires 96 hours in jail. Often, this jail time is remanded to work service.
The Third DUI Offense
Law enforcement takes the third DUI offense seriously in every state, for it is these habitual offenders who often go on to cause bodily harm to others or their property because of their drinking. The 3rd offense DUI program often requires formal probation, which includes the assignment of a probation officer. In addition:
- Court fees remain about the same as those for first and second time offenders.
- In some states, the driver license is restricted an additional year for a total of three.
- 120 days of jail, time is mandatory for third offenders in many states.
When to Look for Legal Help
The fourth DUI offense is considered a felony in most states. This is one reason why the penalties and punishments for DUI are more harsh with each successive arrest. If you or a member of your family is facing DUI charges, get help from an experienced DUI attorney.