Can you still drive after a DUI? The consequences of you being caught while driving under the influence are serious. If you’re a repeat offender, things get more severe.
Law firms are always trying to deal with defending people who have pending DUI charges. Trying to avoid jail time and bail bonds after your DUI conviction requires a lot of effort. Even if you’re a first-time offender, you shouldn’t think that things won’t be serious for you. Consequences such as your driving privileges being revoked, probation and substance use evaluation can still ensue. Moreover, a DUI is a criminal offense that can impact various areas of your life. Read on to find out how you should move forward after your DUI charges.
What is a DUI Charge?
Can you still drive after a DUI? First things first, you need to know what a DUI charge is and when it’s considered a felony. Driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated are interchangeable terms that are used to refer to a DUI charge.
If your blood alcohol content level is registered above 0.08%, it’s considered a crime when you drive. The higher your blood alcohol levels, the more penalties you’re likely to face. Additionally, if you’re a repeat offender, your case will be punished more severely.
When you’re a first-time offender, your case is treated and punished as a misdemeanor. Unless, if your actions have done more damage that results in anyone dying. If a probate lawyer or any lawyer other than a DUI lawyer gets involved, your case will be trialed as a felony.
Other three instances when your misdemeanor can be convicted as a felony DUI include the following.
- If you have a previous conviction.
- When you’re driving with a suspended license.
- When you drive intoxicated with children present.
1. Expect Financial Consequences
Can you still drive after a DUI? As much as you might think that getting a DUI charge is something that you can easily get over, there are inevitable financial consequences that you need to deal with. Unfortunately, dealing with the process of your DUI is expensive even if you don’t end up going to jail.
For one, your DUI attorney likely charges a hefty fee. These are expenses that you must be aware of from the beginning of your process until you’re let off by a judge. You might have to even pay certain fees to get your car back once it all blows over.
Other financial implications can be associated with penalties that you’re likely to come across after your offense. On average, this amounts to thousands of dollars and in certain cases can lead you towards unplanned debt.
2. Restrictions on Driving Privileges
Can you still drive after a DUI? Your driving privileges will always remain a concern after dealing with the aftermath of a DUI charge. Most people assume that refusing to take a BAC test helps them avoid the revocation of their driving privileges.
However, in most states, if you fail to comply with the test requirements, your driving license can be suspended automatically. In fact, the most severe consequence is that your license gets confiscated upon your arrest.
This is something that even DUI lawyers cannot help you with. Depending on the state that you live in, your driving suspension can last for any period between three and 12 months. However, if you choose to not take the BAC test, and you’re a first time offender, you can get away with a suspended license for a period of up to 90 days.
What you will have is a temporary driver’s license until your trial takes place. If you’re convicted, expect more restrictions on your driving privileges to take place. Upon your conviction, two things can happen.
You can either wait until the time period lapses, or you have the option to comply with certain specifications such as using an ignition interlock device (IID) before you can get back behind the wheel again. A formal evaluation at the Department of Motor Vehicles is a standard procedure to ensure that your perceived risk of another offense is mitigated.
Should you face any restrictions on your driving privileges, you should understand that it exposes you to knock-on costs. For example, if you need to rely on alternative transport, you’ll have to pay costs that you normally wouldn’t pay for your car. Additionally, you have to deal with your lack of independence and the inconvenience of it all.
3. Increased Car Insurance
Can you still drive after a DUI? Other than your restrictions on driving once you’ve been convicted, you should think about how your DUI affects your automotive insurance premiums. The fact of the matter is that you should expect to pay more due to the fact that you’re seen as an irresponsible driver.
In other cases it will depend on your unique circumstances and history of your previous convictions. But, your insurance provider might even stop offering you coverage. When this happens, you’re forced to use certain insurance providers who only charge high interest rates.
4. Possible Probation
Can you still drive after a DUI? A DUI charge is a serious offense that you should avoid as much as possible. Any attorney will tell you that it’s a criminal offense and the chances of you being placed on probation after the fact are quite high.
If you’re unaware of what the typical restrictions are on an individual who has been placed on probation after a DUI charge, you’re not alone. Here are six common conditions of a DUI probation that can vary depending on each case’s circumstances.
- You should abstain from any alcohol and drug use.
- Undergo a substance abuse evaluation. Additionally, go to recommended treatments.
- Do random alcohol and drug tests.
- Attend alcoholics anonymous meetings.
- Use an ignition interlock device until your ban has been lifted.
- Follow all the laws.
If you’re a repeat offender, the judge can order you to use remote alcohol monitoring methods such as using patches and bracelets. If you violate the terms of your probation, you should expect consequences. These are determined by the seriousness of your DUI offense in most cases.
The fact is that you should avoid driving while under the influence at all times. Probation can end up costing you your freedom and money. Moreover, you might not be allowed to even leave your state until your probation period is over.
5. Formal Substance Use Evaluation
Can you still drive after a DUI? If your DUI caused an accident, a car accident lawyer can request for a formal evaluation of your substance use to be conducted before your trial starts. This can be used to persuade the court to sentence you accordingly.
These assessments are expensive, and you are expected to pay for them out-of-pocket. The main reason for this formal evaluation is for the courts to reduce the number of people who are repeat offenders. When you fail this evaluation, the court will order you to undergo a substance use treatment as part of your probation conditions.
In other cases, there might be mandated alcohol rehab programs that you should attend. Failure to attend these as required can result in you not completing your probation. Plus, you might not get your driving license back.
6. Expect More Fines
Can you still drive after a DUI? Getting a DUI charge doesn’t just end there. Truth be told, this is one of those expensive convictions that you have to deal with.
Even though these costs will vary depending on where you live and your circumstances, you shouldn’t underestimate what you might end up paying. Outside the court fines and increased automotive insurance rates, you still need to consider the amount of lost time that it takes to deal with everything. You should have an idea of the general estimation of your DUI charge expenses to include the following.
- Attorney fees
- Impound fees
- Fines assessed by the court
- Fees associated with certain penalties such as community service supervision
- Driver responsibility fees
- Substance use treatment fees
- License reinstatement fees
When you tally up these costs, you’ll realize that you can end up paying $25 000 or more. The exorbitant fees that are in place for DUI convictions are a way to help deter you. The fact remains that substance abuse while driving is a danger to everyone.
7. Possible Jail Time
Can you still drive after a DUI? The more people drive while under the influence, the harsher public opinion is on offenders. This results in states coming up with harsher punishment to prove a point.
Nowadays, being a first-time offender won’t guarantee that you’ll only end up with a misdemeanor. Various factors such as your blood alcohol content will be used to determine if you should go to jail or not. Generally, you shouldn’t rule it out no matter the circumstances.
The rule of thumb is that if this isn’t your first DUI charge, you should expect that there’s a higher possibility of you going to jail. Your custodial sentence is also bound to be lengthy if you’ve caused damage to property or any injuries to others. Jail time is something that you should anticipate from the moment that you’re stopped for driving under the influence.
8. Issues with Employment
Can you still drive after a DUI? One of the many unfortunate consequences of your DUI charge is your workplace. A number of problems can arise for you at this instance, and it doesn’t matter whether you work an office job or at a vehicle wraps facility.
Before your conviction, you’ll have to attend different court dates. This can affect the amount of time that you spend being productive at your place of employment. You can end up using all of your leave days and this has the potential to cause issues as your court appearances can clash with your work schedule.
Let’s say that your license is suspended. This can be a huge problem if you’re required to drive your company’s vehicle to reach productivity goals. If you’re in the process of looking for a new job, having a DUI felony charge on your record can impact your hireability.
If you don’t end up losing your current job, you can expect future opportunities to close. This is why a solid understanding of any repercussions of driving while under the influence is important. The last thing that you want to do is to affect your livelihood.
9. Using Ingenious Devices
Can you still drive after a DUI? In most states, a convicted DUI driver is required to use an ignition interlock device. This means that every time that you want to use your car, you’ll have to take a breath test.
Since these devices use cutting-edge technology, your car won’t start unless the results of your breath test show that there’s no alcohol in your system. This device is paid for by you to be installed into your car. And, you have to keep up with the monthly fee payments until you no longer need to use it.
10. Attending Alcohol Education Programs
Can you still drive after a DUI? Whether you’re a first-time offender or not, you’re likely to attend a specified alcohol education program. Not only does a judge order you to, but your attendance is also monitored.
When you don’t attend your program, you risk violation of your probation. The consequences include not getting your license back.
In summary, having a DUI charge is something that you should try to avoid. This is a charge that will stay permanently on your record. This means that other people can view it, including your wills and trusts lawyer.
If you want to know more about what the ramifications of a DUI charge are, it’s important for you to contact a DUI attorney. The thing is, you should expect your life to change after you’ve had a DUI charge conviction. Being fully prepared for it is very important.