Driving under the influence of alcohol can carry severe consequences, and it can be difficult to navigate the legal process without some guidance and understanding of the different offenses.
Here, we discuss different types of DUIs, and break down how different offenses may or may not affect you.
Misdemeanor vs. felony DUI
The majority of offenders will only face a misdemeanor, especially if it is their first offense. A misdemeanor could lead to punishments of varying lengths and fines (see below for more detail), such as jail time. The consequence will usually match the level of offense. Often, a misdemeanor offense does not mean the loss of civil rights, such as the right to vote, to serve on a jury, or to practice certain professions such as law or being a teacher.
A DUI felony arises if, for example, an offender’s drunk driving results in an accident with another vehicle, property, or person. This usually means a sentence of one year or more to be served in prison in addition to paying fines appropriate to the severity of the crime. Restitution could also be sought for victims of the accident.
A typical drunk driving offense could also automatically become a felony charge if the driver committed an illegal act, neglected a responsibility while driving, or caused bodily harm to another person. In some states, a third DUI offense could automatically be classified as a felony, even if there is no negligence or human injury involved.
DUI alcohol vs. drugged driving
While we have covered DUI alcohol offenses, it may be useful to understand the differences between a DUI alcohol offense and a drug offense. A person is considered guilty of driving while under the influence of any drug if they are found guilty of being under its influence at the time of arrest. They can also be found guilty of drugged driving if found intoxicated by both liquor and drugs at the time of arrest.
However, it is not as easy to test for driving under the influence of drugs on the spot, especially in comparison to a DUI. Though laws vary per state, authorities are more likely to prosecute a driver under the grounds of “impairment.” This means that the driver must be impaired by a particular substance and unable to drive safely in order to be found guilty of a DUID, or driving under the influence of drugs. It must be proven that a driver was actually impaired behind the wheel. This definition and level of “impairment” can sometimes be left up to the discretion of police and prosecutors.
Different level of offenses
For most people who are issued a DUI, it is usually their first offense. However, consequences increase if you incur more than one DUI offense:
First offense: A first offense DUI is usually just a misdemeanor offense. Depending on the state you live in and your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest, the penalties you face could vary and could include jail time, or a fine that could be anywhere from $150 to $5,000. The penalty could also include some schooling, such as instructional abuse treatment and correction.
Second offense: A second DUI offense, again, varies per state, but usually sees harsher variations of the penalties found in one’s first offense. Your BAC will play more of a determining factor during the second offense. If you had a prior offense within the last seven years and are convicted of another DUI, you face possible license revocation for two years if your BAC was less than 0.15%. You also face the same consequences if there are no conclusive test results. If you decide to refuse testing, then the revocation period could run as long as 900 days. Jail time could be from 30 days to a year, and fine rates jump up to a possible $1,120.50 to $5,000 for a second-level offense.
Third offense: A third DUI within seven years will mean severe penalties regardless of what state your DUI is issued in. Possible penalties include the loss of driving privileges for up to three years, thousands of dollars in fines, and a minimum of 90 days in jail. Minimum fines could start as high as $1,970.50 and run up to $5,000. If convicted of a DUI with a .15% BAC, your license revocation could be for three years. If you’re found guilty of a third-level offense and your BAC was above .15%, the license revocation is four years.
Although we have outlined some basic knowledge and laws surrounding various types of DUIs and their consequences, it is best to consult a local DUI defense attorney to get the most accurate information for your unique situation and the state you live in.
what can happen for a 2nd dui offense
Bristol (/ˈbrɪstəl/ (listen)) is a city and county in South West England with a population of 463,400. The wider district has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 724,000 is the 8th-largest in the UK. The city lies between Gloucestershire to the north and Somerset to the south. South Wales lies across the Severn estuary.
Iron Age hill forts and Roman villas were built near the confluence of the rivers Frome and Avon, and around the beginning of the 11th century, the settlement was known as Brycgstow (Old English “the place at the bridge”). Bristol received a royal charter in 1155 and was historically divided between Gloucestershire and Somerset until 1373 when it became a county of itself. From the 13th to the 18th century, Bristol was among the top three English cities, after London, in tax receipts. Bristol was surpassed by the rapid rise of Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool in the Industrial Revolution.
Bristol was a starting place for early voyages of exploration to the New World. On a ship out of Bristol in 1497 John Cabot, a Venetian, became the first European since the Vikings to land on mainland North America. In 1499 William Weston, a Bristol merchant, was the first Englishman to lead an exploration to North America. At the height of the Bristol slave trade, from 1700 to 1807, more than 2,000 slave ships carried an estimated 500,000 people from Africa to slavery in the Americas. The Port of Bristol has since moved from Bristol Harbour in the city centre to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Dock.
Bristol’s modern economy is built on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as centres of heritage and culture. The city has the largest circulating community currency in the UK; the Bristol pound, which is pegged to the Pound sterling. The city has two universities, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, and a variety of artistic and sporting organisations and venues including the Royal West of England Academy, the Arnolfini, Spike Island, Ashton Gate and the Memorial Stadium. It is connected to London and other major UK cities by road and rail, and to the world by sea and air: road, by the M5 and M4 (which connect to the city centre by the Portway and M32); rail, via Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway mainline rail stations; and Bristol Airport.
One of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations, Bristol was selected in 2009 as one of the world’s top ten cities by international travel publishers Dorling Kindersley in their Eyewitness series of travel guides. The Sunday Times named it as the best city in Britain in which to live in 2014 and 2017, and Bristol also won the EU’s European Green Capital Award in 2015.
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