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Drunk driving convictions can lead to serious penalties

Dale Gribow July 10, 2015

There are many legal consequences a California driver may face if he or she is convicted of driving under the influence. These legal consequences can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life. A DUI conviction can ruin personal and professional reputations and make finding and keeping a job more difficult.

There is a long list of specific consequences that those convicted of a DUI could expect to face. Some consequences include vehicle impoundment, alcohol or drug treatment programs, hefty fines and even jail time in some situations. Ignition interlock devices can be installed in vehicles to analyze the driver’s breath to determine his or her blood alcohol content. The vehicle will only start if the driver’s BAC level is below a certain number.

One of the most devastating consequences for many drivers is losing the right to drive. Most states will punish convicted drivers with a restriction or revocation of their driver’s license. First-time offenders could have their license revoked, but drivers with multiple DUI convictions could face even longer periods of time without their license. In some cases, a driver may lose their license permanently.

In fact, most DUI penalties are harsher for habitual offenders than for first-time offenders. This could mean higher fines, longer periods of license suspension and even the total loss of your vehicle. DUIs are typically misdemeanors, but some states automatically charge drivers with a felony DUI charge if they have prior DUI convictions.

The consequences of a DUI conviction can be serious, so it is important to do whatever you can to avoid such a conviction. Fortunately, with the proper defense, many DUI charges are lessened or dropped altogether. Those accused of drunk driving should understand the options available and ways they could reduce or dismiss the charges against him or her.