DUI Penalties: The Legal Ramifications of A DUI


There are a number of sites and organizations that list the statistics and negative consequences of drinking and driving so we will not get to in depth here about such information. Instead this article will focus on an overview of DUI penalties.

All States in the United States prohibit drinking and driving. Often the State will categorize violations as DUI or DWI (driving while intoxicated, or even OUI (operating under the influence). Consequences for obeying these state laws can be very severe to an individual future. Some of the most common DUI penalties include:

  • Ignition interlock devices
    • Vehicles Will Not Start Unless You Breathe A Perfect 0.00 First
    • Failing to Blow 0.00 Nowadays Sends An Immediate Alert to the Court
  • Jail Time
    • About Half the States Have Mandatory Jail Time
    • Time Ranges from 48 Hours – A Week for First Time Offenders
    • For Repeat Offenders Minimum Could be 90 Days – Whatever the Court Decides
  • Fines and Fees
    • Average Minimum is $500 (This is not including car impound costs & attorneys fees, and possible driver education seminars)
  • Suspension of your License
    • Length of Suspension Varies By State
    • First Offense Suspension Usually 30 days
  • Job Loss or Restrictions
  • Potential Felony Charges
  • Higher Insurance Rates
  • Background Checks
    • A felony or misdemeanor DUI will appear in a background check and could impact your ability to get a job in the future
    • This includes impacting college financial aid and housing/rental applications.

Example Chart Of DUI Penalties: (https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/penalties-drinking-and-driving)

“Maximum Penalty Mandatory Minimum Jail Time
Offense Status Maximum Penalties

(Jail & Fines)

License Revocation

Refusal or Alcohol Score below .20 Breath or Blood Alcohol Content (BrAC/BAC) or .25 Urine Alcohol Content (UAC) .20 BrAC/BAC

.25 Urine Alcohol Content (UAC)

>.25 BrAC/BAC

>.32 UAC

>.30 BrAC/BAC

>.39 UAC

1st Offense 180 days and/or $1,000

6-month license revocation

none 10 days 15 days 20 days
2nd Offense 1 year and/or $2,500-$5,000

1-year license revocation

10 days 25 days 30 days 35 days
3rd Offense 1 year and/or $2,500-$10,000

2-year license revocation

12 days 35 days 40 days 45 days
4th and Subsequent Offenses 1 year and/or $2,500-$10,000 45 days (add 30 days for each subsequent offense) 65 days (add 30 days for each subsequent offense) 70 days (add 30 days for each subsequent offense) 75 days (add 30 days for each subsequent offense)”


If you want information on what exactly to do when pulled over while drinking under the influence check out our step by step guide created by our attorneys on what to do!

, , ,