First Time DUIDWI Offense What to Expect, Penalties, and Costs

First Time DUIDWI Offense What to Expect, Penalties, and Costs
First Time DUIDWI Offense What to Expect, Penalties, and Costs

One of the most important types of speeches that we may be called on to give is the process speech. This is a speech in which we’ll be teaching our audience about a process that they may have had no experience with . As a speaker, we need to first understand where our audience is currently at: they may be getting ready to execute the process that we’ll be telling them about and they are eager to hear what we have to say. This means that we need to take the time to do our homework and make sure that the content of our speech is both correct and concise. Let’s take a look at how we would deliver a process speech that talked about how to deal with a first time DUI offense.

If you get a first time DUI in the U.S, there are several things you’ll need to prepare yourself for. If you are convicted for drunk driving, and you are looking to get your privileges back, it’s going to get expensive. You’ll have court appearances, fees, and fines to prepare for — and that’s just the beginning. 

There are the expenses of DUI school, mandatory psychological evaluation, getting treatment if there’s a problem, and more. Even a first time DUI offense can result in jail time or a spike in your insurance premiums. Here’s more of what to expect with a first-time DUI/DWI.

Being Arrested and Booked

If you are arrested from your first DUI, the next thing that’ll happen is you’ll be taken to the nearest police station. There you’ll have your mug shot taken and you’ll need to get fingerprinted. And in some parts of the country, you can be released once someone else posts your bail and is able to drive you home. 

Appearing in Court

When you’re arrested from a first offense DUI, you’ll receive a ticket or summons telling you your court date. You will need to appear in court to face any DUI charges the police officers reported. If you deny those charges, plead not guilty, or try to fight your case, you might want to think again. 

Chances are the police officer who arrested you will have a video of you failing the field sobriety test. There’s a camera on the officer’s dashboard at the time of your arrest. There is also video footage taken at the police station where you were processed, so denying your DUI charges may not be the best idea. 

Losing Your Driver’s License

Even if this is your first time DUI, your sentence will still require you to lose your driving privileges for a certain amount of time. Different states offer a hardship license that allows you to commute to work or school. But during that time, your license is still revoked or suspended. 

And in some states, if you refuse to take the field sobriety test, the breathalyzer, or a blood test, your license is immediately suspended. 

Paying a Fine

If you are convicted of your first DUI offense, part of those charges will include paying a fine.

Every state has laws with minimum and maximum fees for drunk driving. Each of those penalties can worsen depending on the circumstances, however. For example, if you damage any property, injure someone, or endanger a child while you were intoxicated, those fines may increase.

In some states, you will need to pay court fees associated with your case as well.

Going to Jail

In many states, the terms of arrest are mandatory whether this is your first DUI or not. Typically, if you are a first-time offender, you would only be jailed for one or two days. And for repeat offenders, jail terms are often longer than a couple of days. 

However, regardless of it is your first-time offense or not, those penalties can increase if there are any aggravating circumstances in your case.  

Completing Probation 

Let’s say you were not subjected to any jail time for your DUI charges — you will most likely still have a probation sentence. Those terms are determined by the judge who sentenced you. If you fail to meet the probation requirements, you can be sent straight to jail. 

No matter the terms, your probation sentence is another expense you’ll have to pay. In some cases, there is a monthly fee you will have to pay for the administration and supervision of your probated sentence. Either way, these are costs you’ll want to keep in mind if you experience any DWI penalties

Going to Drunk Driving School

In nearly every jurisdiction, you won’t have your driving privileges restored until you complete an alcohol and drug education program. This is also referred to as a “drunk driving school”. The classes include an assessment of your drinking behavior and hours of prevention education. 

These classes also cost money and are mandatory if you want to get your driver’s license restored. 

Having an Alcohol Evaluation

The court will require you to have a trained counselor evaluate your alcohol behavior. This is to better understand if you have an abusive alcohol disorder. The evaluator will ask you different questions about how alcohol has affected your life. 

If the evaluation results indicate that there is alcohol dependence or abuse, you may need to attend an alcohol-treatment program approved by the courts. 

Paying Higher Car Insurance

In many states, if you are hit with DUI charges, you will need a special insurance policy. This is also called an SR-22 insurance policy that most states require for a first time DUI offense. This can often double or triple your premiums. 

Typically, you will need to maintain the most expensive auto insurance for up to three years. 

Installing an Ignition Interlock Service/Device

Drivers convicted of DUI charges have very special requirements in a growing number of states. In some, you will need to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Some states will require this even if this is your first-time DUI offense. 

The device often has monthly fees and requires you to have an alcohol-free breath result before your vehicle starts. 

The Bottom Line on a First Time DUI

If you are arrested on suspicion of a DUI, you should seek professional help to represent you. A law specialist will be able to cover the bases and prepare you for DWI penalties before you start forking out any cash. But keep this guide in mind so you can ask the right questions and have the best results for your first-time DUI charge.