What Are The Penalties For A DUI?

A DUI, which stands for "driving under the influence," has certain penalties and punishments. The penalty depends on a number of factors, from how many offenses you have to any other crimes that were committed while you were intoxicated. If you are pulled over and get a DUI, here are some possible penalties you might be facing.


The most common penalty you will face if you get a DUI is paying a fine. The fine can vary between a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. If this is a repeat offense, you can bet the judge will give you the maximum fine allowed. You may also have a lower or higher fine based on the situation surrounding your DUI, such as if you put others at risk or what your blood alcohol level was when you were pulled over.

Jail Time

Since a DUI is considered a misdemeanour in the United States, you might also be facing some jail time. Like many of the other DUI penalties, it will depend on the judge and what the circumstances were. If you had a minor in the vehicle, you will have a harsher jail penalty that someone who did not and is facing their very first DUI.

Community Service

Another possible penalty for a DUI is doing a certain number of hours of community service. This is often requested in lieu of serving jail time. Community service will need to be approved by the judge beforehand. You may not be able to choose the type of community service you complete, and you will have requirements for completing a certain number of hours within a designated period of time. It is often a number of hours within a calendar year.

Mandatory Alcohol Treatment

If you have gotten more than one DUI charge, mandatory alcohol treatment may be requested by the judge. They will ask that you attend Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar type of alcohol treatment program. You will need to complete the program in full and get written consent of your completion by the alcohol counselor who you were appointed to. For severe alcohol addiction, you may be asked to enter a residential alcohol treatment program, where you live in the facility for a certain number of days.

Suspended or Restricted License

Most people who get a DUI will also have their driver's license either restricted or suspended. If it is restricted, it is usually for a set number of days, or until you complete your alcohol treatment program. You might also be required to install a breathalyzer device in your vehicle that requires you to have a zero blood alcohol level before your car will start. For a suspended license, it is often for a full year or until the judge decides to reinstate it.

If you have gotten a DUI, it is highly recommended that you get an attorney. You especially need one if your DUI is related to a vehicle accident or other crime that occurred at the same time. Reach out to a local personal injury lawyer for more details on building a defense.