Updated on February 28th, 2022 at 07:03 pm
The three most common criminal driving offenses in the United States are speeding, failure to stop at a red light, and failure to signal. One offense that marks one of the top ten is driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 1.5 million people, or 1 out of every 121 drivers, were arrested in the United States for driving under the influence. A criminal charge of DUI is not limited to alcohol; an individual can be under the influence of any type of drug that potentially impairs judgment and driving ability, even if it is legally prescribed. Being charged with a DUI, or, driving while intoxicated (DWI) can have serious consequences on every aspect of an individual’s life.
Consequences of DC DUI?
A DUI can have a major impact on your driving ability. The short-term consequences are well known and can include minor infractions such as the temporary suspension of your commercial driver’s license and driving privilege, financial penalties, and higher insurance premiums. Major ramifications of a DUI charge can be days in jail, court-mandated community service, and participation in drunk driving education programs, all of which impact your schedule and impose a financial burden.
A first offense could impose consequences of fines up to $1,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 180 days or 6 months in jail. The average cost of a DUI in the District of Columbia is $10,000. For a first-time convicted offense for a DUI, an offender will have their driver’s license suspension for six months and will receive 12 points on their record.
However, there are ways to alleviate the harsh penalties.
What is the Interlock System?
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breath alcohol analyzer that connects to the ignition system of a vehicle to ensure that the driver’s breath alcohol level does not exceed the accepted level set. If the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) has a presence of alcohol that is over a mandated level, the car will not be able to start. Additionally, the driver will be prompted to check their blood alcohol concentration at various times throughout the drive to ensure that they remain safe to drive and free from any impairment caused by alcohol or drugs.
In the District of Columbia (Washington, DC), the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) allows individuals charged with a DUI for their first or subsequent traffic violation alcohol-related subsequent offenses to participate in the IID Program. Participation in the program allows the offender to get a restricted Washington, DC Department of Motor Vehicle driver’s license and drive in vehicles with the IID installed, although the restrictions and conditions on their driver’s license will not be alleviated for the entire period of license revocation.
How Does a DUI Change Your Insurance?
Being convicted with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will significantly impact your car insurance rate in almost every situation; on average, the car insurance rates of a DUI are increased by $1,625 per year, a raise of 72%. In the view of insurance companies, a DUI is a major infraction, and most will have a substantial rate increase for three to five years, on average.
Washington, DC requires that all drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence, as well as other high-risk traffic violations like reckless driving, file an SR-22 insurance form. An SR-22 insurance is a formal document of financial responsibility that your insurance company files with your state to prove that you have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum liability coverage requirements. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, you may be required to retain the SR-22 for up to three years.
What Are the Long-Term Consequences of a DUI?
In addition to the standard commercial drivers license revocation, a DUI conviction can impact your criminal record and ability to get to work and other activities if you lose the ability to drive. Secondly, a DUI will show up on a background check. A DUI conviction could impede any attempts to secure a job with future employers. Many financial decisions, such as loans for housing, school, and financial aid applications, could also be jeopardized.
If you are currently employed, a DUI arrest and subsequent conviction on your driving record could impact your vocation. Mandatory court requirements, such as future court dates, potential days in jail, mandated community service or other programs can put your job at risk with an unpredictable schedule spanning from weeks to months to years. A security clearance could be greatly impacted due to a conviction on your driving record. In addition, your social and professional relationships will be put to the test; despite efforts to hide your arrest, it may be publicized by the local media and could permanently stain your reputation or ruin a relationship.
Contact A Professional Defense Attorney
A DUI conviction on your driving record can have long-standing effects on every piece of your life not just your driving privilege. If you are involved in a DUI case in Washington, DC or Maryland, contact a criminal defense lawyer from Bruckheim & Patel for a free consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys and be sure to check out more information on field sobriety tests.