Driving while intoxicated presents the driver with serious penalties including a jail sentence, driver’s license suspensions, and fines. DWI is a leading cause of auto accidents and fatalities. Drivers suspected of DWI must submit to a breathalyzer test to measure their blood-alcohol levels. If the driver has a blood-alcohol reading of at least 0.08 percent, they will be convicted of DWI. Underage or commercial drivers are convicted with a blood-alcohol content reading of 0.04 percent. Reviewing surprising tragic facts about getting a DWI shows drivers what to expect if they are convicted.
You Will Lose Your Driving Privileges
Driver’s license suspensions are standard when a driver is convicted of a DWI. The number of offenses dictates how long the driving privileges are suspended. For example, a first-offense leads to a driver’s license suspension of between six months and one year. If the current charge is a felony, the driver could lose their driving privileges for up to three years. In some states, a felony DWI could lead to permanent license suspensions. A DWI lawyer in Austin, TX can help drivers review the penalties for a possible conviction.
You Could Go To Jail
Jail sentences are likely with all offenses, and the previous convictions define how long the sentence is. Most charges have a minimum jail sentence, and the defendant might stay in jail initially if there is a mandatory hold. In some areas, the first-offense requires up to six months in jail if they are convicted. However, some first-timers could avoid jail by entering a drug or alcohol treatment program.
You Could Get Into an Accident
If the drunk driver causes an accident, the charges could be more severe if the victim sustains serious or permanent injuries. If the victim dies, the driver could face manslaughter charges. The court reviews the circumstances of the accident and determines if the drunk driver was at fault. Upon conviction, the drunk driver may be ordered to pay restitution for the injured party or provide restitution to their family if the victim dies.
Your Insurance Premiums Will Go Up for Years
DWIs increase the driver’s auto insurance premiums significantly. Some states require the driver to get SR-22 certificates that show they are covered by auto insurance, and they might have to pay a fine each year if they caused an accident. The premiums increase after a DWI because the driver is classified as a high-risk. The DWI could stay on the driver’s record for up to ten years. The insurance premiums won’t decrease until the DWI is removed from their driving record.
Ignition Interlocking Devices are Often Required
Ignition interlock devices are often required for anyone convicted of a DWI. The device requires them to blow into a tube and determine if they are intoxicated before the automobile starts. The device prevents drivers from operating their vehicles when they have been drinking. The driver must install the device and pay the full cost of the installation. The court determines how long the device is required. The driver is required to maintain the device and complete maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Drunk drivers face severe penalties if they are convicted of DWI. Driving while intoxicated is a serious charge, and if the driver has a blood-alcohol content reading of .08 or controlled substances in their system, they can get convicted. The driver will face jail sentences, driver’s license suspensions, and hefty fines. Reviewing the penalties associated with DWI shows drivers what they can expect if they are convicted.