People make bad judgment calls all the time. Although you try your best, there are times when you slip up and do something that can have a big negative impact on your life and potentially others. One such big mistake that can happen is to drink too much and get behind the wheel. Of all the things that make a person a high-risk driver, drinking and driving is up at the top of the list.
If this does happen to you, and you are caught, then a DUI is in your future. It will definitely impact your life, but how much so depends on a few circumstances. In this article, we will go over what happens when you get your first DUI.
You get arrested
When you are stopped for driving under the influence, you will be arrested and brought in to be processed. This isn’t a crime in which you report to the police station on your own afterward. You will be booked and may be required to spend the night in jail to be brought before the court in the morning.
You could post bail if somebody were to come in and bail you out, but you won’t be able to do so yourself. In any case, you may still be over the legal limit and be a risk of driving again under the influence.
You’ll lose your license
How and when you lose your license, as well as for how long depends on the state in which the violation occurred. In some states, your license is suspended immediately as soon as you’re arrested. In others, you will appear in court and you may or may not have your license suspended by the judge based on whether they find you guilty or not.
The sentencing phase is when you learn how long it will take to have your license reinstated and what you may need to complete before it can be.
For instance, you may be required to do a certain amount of community service before you are able to get your license back. Other states may require you to do online DUI classes to be able to get your license back.
No matter what state you live in, if you drive while the license is suspended or drive drunk again during this time, you face more serious consequences.
Will you go to jail?
In many states, there are sentencing requirements in which jail time is a real possibility even for a first time offender. Somethings there are guidelines like how high over the limit you are, or if there was an accident caused.
Other mitigating circumstances could be if there was an accident and somebody was injured in the other car, or if you had a passenger injured in yours. These are cases that will almost always result in some jail time no matter what state you live in. how much time depends on the circumstances and the sentencing when before a judge.