We have all been in a social situation where alcohol was available, and we opted to have a drink among friends. This is not the problem. The problem often comes in when you don’t feel that you have had “too much”, but you end up arrested for a DUI to wrap up your night. We aren’t here to judge, but we can say that if this is a situation you found yourself in, you need the help of a professional to minimize DUI penalties. Otherwise, you could end up paying for the night of fun in very unfortunate ways.
The Downside of Guessing
Alcohol affects everyone differently. It is part of the reason that so many feel unaffected, but fail a breathalyzer. The “legal limit” indicates that a blood alcohol content (BAC) level cannot be higher than 0.08% for adults. Under 21 the limit is 0.01 or 0.04 if you are driving a commercial vehicle.
The catch is, there isn’t a specific number of drinks you can have to know when you cross that line. Everybody is different, so guessing is not a great option. Your body will respond differently from others in your group based on your
- Body Size
- Time of Consumption
- Whether You Were Eating
- Medical Conditions You May Have
- And How Strong the Drink Is
This means if you are slightly heavy, eat, and sip at your drink over a few hours, then you should be able to avoid a DUI if you are stopped for a routine traffic violation, but it is not guaranteed. It also proves that sharing a single drink with your date could mean that you both would have a different BAC if tested.
Penalties for DUI
Every state has different penalties for DUI. However, most are penalties that will be hard to get beyond if you are convicted. In California, the first offense if you are over 21-years is possibly going to result in the arresting officer confiscating your license. After this initial confiscation, you will be able to drive for 30-days, but will then mean a 4-month license suspension. A restricted license may also be available through using an Ignition Interlock Device or Employment/Treatment Program. These options come with fees.
People under 21 who are arrested for DUI may sacrifice their driving privileges for 6- to 10-months and you may be required to complete a 9-month DUI program. Other penalties are also possible, including the restricted license options.
Along with the restrictions to your driving, a DUI conviction means you committed a misdemeanor. This means you could be faced with:
- Jail Time
A second offense means more severe penalties that may include a license suspension of up to 12-months, probation for three years, and more jail time or fines. It only goes up from there with subsequent charges.
You Need Someone on Your Side
Chances are good, you will have to appear in court for the DUI charge that you have resting on your shoulders. You may also be able to attend a DMV hearing. If you want to minimize the consequences of your night of socializing, you will want help to get beyond the DUI so that you can go back to driving freely. Visit hartlevin.com to get the legal help that you need. We will review your case and try to make sure that your rights are being upheld.