We all love to unwind after a long day or week at work or school. Some prefer a couple of fingers of whiskey, other some glasses of wine, while others have cocktails as their muse. In our buzzed states, we may feel that we have drunk less than we actually have, and decide to drive home.
Driving under the influence of alcohol and any kind of drugs is not recommended as you put both you and other road users in danger. For this reason, anyone driving under the influence is flagged down and penalized in different ways. The penalty is dependent on whether it is the first DUI offense you have committed or whether it is a subsequent one.
The DUI Penalties
The DUI penalties vary depending on the state from which you come from. The penalties vary from jail time, fines, and suspension of your driver’s license.
In the state of California, for example, if you are a first time offender, you are almost always placed on probation for between three to five years. During the probation, you are expected to steer clear of alcohol while driving and ensure that you don’t do any more infractions.
Second-time offenders in the state of Pennsylvania can serve up to six months in jail. The fines and penalties in Pennsylvania vary depending on whether you are a first time, second time, or third-time offender. A first time offender pays up to $300 in penalties; a second-time offender is fined from $300 to $2500 while a third-time offender can pay up to $5000 in fines.
In Massachusetts, if you cause death when drunk driving, for a first time offender, your license is suspended for 15 years, and you can be fined up to $25,000. A second death caused by drunk driving would lead to a lifetime revocation of your driver’s license. If you cause a death while driving under the influence, you can serve between 5 years and 20 years in prison.
A plea bargain for a lesser charge of wet reckless is allowed in some states. In California, for example, you can plead to a wet reckless charge under the condition that it will be recorded that the conviction was due to the fact that you were driving under the influence. In other states like Pennsylvania, a wet reckless plea is not allowed.
Avoiding DUI penalties is pretty simple actually. When you go out with your friends, ensure that you have a designated driver who does not drink on that day. If you are drinking alone, ensure that you get a cab to go home with. Do not listen to that voice in your head that is telling you that you are not drunk because alcohol impairs your decision-making skills.
However, if you have been flagged down with a DUI, get a good lawyer.