If the police stop you and charge you with driving while intoxicated (DWI), you know it’s not a good thing. Yet you might not realize quite how much of a bad thing it could be if you are convicted.
Courts can apply a variety of penalties, which increase with further offenses or exacerbating factors such as being charged within a school zone. Here’s what you can expect as a penalty if you’re convicted:
You will face up to 30 days in jail, a fine of between $250 and $400 and a three-month license suspension.
First offense with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.10%
You will face up to 30 days in jail, a fine of between $300 and $500 and a three-month license suspension.
Second offense within 10 years
You will face between 48 hours and 90 days in jail, 30 days of community service, a fine of between $500 and $1,000 and a two-year license suspension.
Third offense or more within 10 years
You will face at least 180 days in jail, a fine of $1,000 and a 10-year license suspension.
Court penalties are not the only worry
Jail time, fines and license suspensions will all soon become history. Yet the criminal record you receive for a DWI conviction will not. That can cause you problems for years to come, making it more challenging to get work, sit on committees or secure social housing.
There are many ways to fight a DWI charge. Getting legal help to understand them all is the best chance you have of avoiding the considerable consequences a conviction would bring. It’s also the best opportunity to get through the legal process with minimum impact on your life.