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Common Penalties for DWIs

There are many reasons why driving while intoxicated isn’t worth the risk. First and foremost, you are putting yourself and others at risk when you do so. Beyond that, you’re also increasing the likelihood of receiving certain penalties for breaking the law.

Typically, there are two factors that a court considers when determining your penalty once charged with a DWI. The first is your BAC, or blood alcohol content percentage. In most states, the legal limit is .08%. The other factor is whether you’ve driven while intoxicated in the past, and if so, how many times.

Court-ordered Education

If it’s your first offense, a judge may order the completion of education classes at an alcohol resource center or special program. In some situations, you’ll be able to complete a DWI education program online.

Fines and Jail Time

Especially for first-time offenders who exceed the legal BAC, fines are often standard. Amount varies by state, but you can expect anywhere from $250 up to $500 or more.

Jail time for those who have never received a DWI before is typically less than 30 days, but even one night in jail is no fun. Think before you drink and drive!

License Suspension

The more times you are arrested with a DWI, the more probable it is that your driver’s license could be suspended. For many people, driving gives them freedom and independence. Having that ability removed can have serious repercussions.

Interlock Installation

In some instances, you may be able to make the case for keeping your license. However, if a judge still feels you may be a risk to others on the road, the court may order the installation of an interlock on your vehicle. This is a device that requires you to breathe into a breathalyzer that measures your BAC before your car will start.

Remember: The risks aren’t worth it. If you think you’ve had too much alcohol, don’t drive.

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