First Offense DUI
Each state has different laws and penalties as they pertain to DUI, however all states have ruled that a driver operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of at least .08% can be arrested for driving under the influence. Even if you are convicted of a first offense DUI, you should be aware that the consequences are severe. Here are some of the most common penalties you could face for a first offense DUI.
Many states impose two separate cases for a DUI charge. One is with the criminal justice department and the other is a civil proceeding with the state’s department of motor vehicles. If this is the case in your state, you usually only have a few days from the date of your DUI arrest to request a hearing with the department of motor vehicles; otherwise your license will automatically be suspended. This is the case whether you failed a chemical test or refused to submit to one.
Keep in mind that if your driver’s license is suspended by the department of motor vehicles, this will happen before you even make it to court. That’s because this is a civil proceeding and the department of motor vehicles doesn’t need to wait for a ruling from the court before making a decision. Driving is considered a privilege not a right.
Once you do make it to court, there are a variety of penalties you could face for a first offense DUI depending on your jurisdiction. For instance, some states impose a jail sentence of up to one year for a first offense DUI.
There are also aggravated charges that may relate to your DUI charge, which will make the penalties more severe even if it’s your first offense. If you had a minor in your vehicle, were driving recklessly, resisted arrest, or seriously hurt or killed someone, these would result in enhanced penalties. Other states such as New Jersey may use an inflated blood alcohol content level to impose a more expensive fine, longer jail sentences and an extended period of time for your license to be suspended.