If you have been arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), it is likely that you provided either a breath or blood sample to police officers. Breath and blood tests are not 100% accurate and may not provide an accurate representation of your blood alcohol content at the time you were actually driving (or in actual physical control of) a vehicle. DUI cases are some of the most complicated and serious cases for many reasons. DUI cases involve several specific deadlines for filing pleadings and often require the use of expert witnesses and scientific explanations.

DUI investigations include several phases and require officers to perform very specific steps.  A good defense attorney will study your DUI investigation to ensure the officers followed proper policies and procedures and to determine whether your rights were violated in any way.  An officer’s failure to comply with the rules may result in a dismissal of your case.

DUI convictions result in several severe penalties.  Some penalties are imposed at the court’s discretion while others are statutory penalties.   It is crucial that you have an aggressive defense attorney who can (1) find issues with the investigation that may result in a dismissal of your case and
(2) negotiate the best outcome achievable if you are convicted or plead guilty.

If you were arrested for DUI, it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to confirm the accuracy of your test result and ensure that your rights are not waived for failure to act within the time frame allowed. Contact Riley Law today for a free case analysis.

Consequences of Driving Under the Influence:

Administrative License Suspension: If you fail an evidentiary test during a DUI investigation, you will be subject to civil penalties that are separate from any criminal penalties you receive from a Judge.

  • You only have seven (7) days to request a hearing to show why your driving privileges should not be suspended by the Department of Transportation.
    • If you submit to the evidentiary test and fail, your driver’s license will be suspended beginning thirty (30) days from the date of your arrest.
      • 1st Offense:  Ninety (90) day driver’s license suspension with no driving privileges of any kind for the first thirty (30) days.
      • 2nd Offense in 5 Years:  One (1) year absolute driver’s license suspension with no driving privileges of any kind.
    • If you refuse to submit to an evidentiary test you will be subject to a $250 civil penalty in addition to a driver’s license suspension.
      • 1st Refusal:  Your driving privileges will be suspended for one (1) year with no driving privileges of any kind.
      • 2nd Refusal within ten (10) years:  Your driving privileges will be suspended for two (2) years with no driving privileges of any kind.
  • Each time your driver’s license is suspended, you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee.
  • You may also be required to carry SR-22 insurance for a specific amount of time.

Pre-Trial Release:

  • If you are able to post bond in your case, the Judge may impose Pre-Trial Release conditions on you.  These conditions may prevent you from doing the following while your case is pending:
    • Driving a vehicle;
    • Purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol;
    • Frequenting any establishment where alcohol is the main source of income.
  • You may also be required to submit to random alcohol and/or drug testing or wear an alcohol monitor.
  • The Judge may impose additional restrictions on your while you are out on bond.

Penalties: If you plead guilty to or are found guilty of driving under the influence, the maximum penalties are as follows:

  • 1st DUI – Misdemeanor:
    • Up to six (6) months in jail;
    • Up to a $1,000 fine;
    • Driving privileges will be suspended for up to 180 days.  The first thirty (30) days will be an absolute suspension with no driving privileges of any kind.
  • 2nd DUI within Ten Years – Misdemeanor:
    • Up to one (1) year in Jail;
    • Mandatory minimum ten (10) days in jail with the first 48 hours to be served consecutively.
    • Up to a $2,000 fine;
    • One (1) year absolute driver’s license suspension with no driving privileges of any kind.
    • Required ignition interlock system while driving following the one (1) year mandatory driver’s license suspension.
  • Felony DUI – A DUI is a felony if it is:  (1) a 3rd DUI within 10 years; or (2) a subsequent DUI with a previous felony DUI or Aggravated DUI within 15 years; or (3) a second DUI within 10 years where in both cases there was an alcohol concentration of 0.20 or more:
    • Up to ten (10) years in prison;
    • Mandatory minimum of thirty (30) days in jail;
    • Up to a $5,000 fine;
    • Up to a five (5) year driver’s license suspension with absolutely no driving privileges of any kind for the first year;
    • Required ignition interlock system while driving following the one (1) year mandatory driver’s license suspension.

Sentencing: In addition to the penalties listed above, a Judge can order you to complete additional requirements as a condition of your sentence.

  • Ignition Interlock Devices:
    • Certain DUI statutes prevent you from being able to drive a vehicle without a functioning ignition interlock device installed.
    • These interlock devices require you to blow into the machine to test your breath alcohol concentration before your vehicle will start.
    • These devices include an installation fee and a monthly calibration fee and can be extremely costly.

Evaluation:

  • Prior to imposing sentence, a Judge may require to you obtain a drug and/or alcohol evaluation to determine your risks and needs for treatment.
  • Upon completing your evaluation, the evaluator will make a recommendation for treatment.  The Judge will likely order you to complete any treatment recommendations from your evaluation.
  • The treatment recommendations generally include alcohol and/or drug education classes which you will be required to complete within a specific time frame.
  • You will be responsible for the cost of your evaluation and your treatment.
  • Failure to complete your evaluation or your classes may result in a probation violation.

Victim’s Panel:

  • As a penalty for pleading guilty to or being convicted of a DUI, you will be ordered to complete a Victim’s Panel.
  • A Victim’s Panel is a program designed to teach people of the effects of drunk driving.