DUI While On Probation: Now What?

First-time DUI offenders often receive probation for part or their entire jail sentence, but if they commit a DUI while on probation, they will see a sharp increase in the penalties they must endure. Law enforcement officials are attempting to do all they can to stop, or at least reduce, the number of DUI accidents and injuries on our nation’s streets and highways. Stiffer penalties and greater costs have become a strong deterrent to many drivers who formerly might have driven under the influence. However, not all drivers have learned their lesson. If they repeat their violation, especially while still on probation from their previous offense, they will face much more serious consequences.

DUI Penalties                                                                                         

There are a number of penalties that are now commonly imposed on those convicted of drunk driving. Those penalties vary depending upon such elements as the BAC (blood alcohol content) level, the circumstances of the DUI, damage or injury resulting from the DUI, and any other crimes resulting from the DUI, to name a few. Some of the penalties that may be imposed in varying levels include:

  • Fines
  • Jail or prison time
  • Probation, at the discretion of the judge
  • DUI classes, counseling, or rehab
  • Community service
  • Restitution
  • Home monitoring programs
  • Suspension, revocation, or restriction of driving privileges
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device that prevents the vehicle from operating while the driver is intoxicated
  • Impounding their vehicle
  • Surcharges of $1,000 or more for several years, as well as markedly increased insurance rates

DUI Probation

For some offenders, especially when it is a first offense, the court may rule that they are eligible to serve part or all of their jail or prison time on probation. There are a number of rules that must be observed, often including regular visits or reports to a probation officer. When those rules are broken, the offender may face greater penalties or have their probation revoked altogether. Probation rules vary by state and by the offense charged, but common requirements include:

  • Probation of generally three to five years
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
  • Suspension, revocation, or restriction of driving privileges
  • Regular attendance in required DUI school, counseling, or rehab
  • No criminal activity
  • No drinking and driving – also known as “zero tolerance” for any measurable amount of alcohol in the offender’s blood

Parole Violations

If those parole restrictions are violated, the offender may face a number of more stringent penalties at the discretion of the court and based on state laws. Some of the penalties that may be increased include:

  • Additional jail or prison time
  • Increased fines and fees
  • Revocation of probation
  • Extending the probation period
  • Changing the requirements of the probation
  • New or additional community service
  • Required substance abuse treatment, rehab, or counseling

Getting Legal Help for DUI Charges while on Probation

It is vital that someone charged with DUI while they are already on probation retain a skilled and experienced attorney to help them through this complex and painful process. The penalties for parole violation in addition to the original probation can add up to serious consequences. However, knowledgeable DUI attorneys can work to reduce the penalties and receive the greatest benefits for their client that the system will offer.

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