Penalties for DUI

Penalties for DUI

The penalties below are some of the common, although not guaranteed outcomes for DUI convictions. Not every possible penalty is listed.

DUI – 1st Offense (over 21)

  • Fines:  $390 to $1000 fine, plus assessments
  • Jail:
    • Without probation: 96 hours to 6 months
    • With probation (3 to 5 yrs.): Completion of first offender drinking driver program (durations vary)

License suspension: 6-months (10-months if BAC is .20% or higher or chemical test refusal)

DUI – 2nd Offense (over 21)

  • Fines:  $390 to $1000 fine, plus assessments
  • Jail:
    • Without probation: 90 days to 1 year (chemical test refusal: add an additional 96 hours jail)
    • With probation: 0 days to 1 year jail OR 96 hours to 1 year, with the 96 hours being served in two 48 hour increments of continuous confinement

License suspension: Generally 2 years for non-commercial licenses

DUI – 3rd Offense (over 21)

  • Fines:  $390 to $1000 fine, plus assessments
  • Jail:
    • Without probation: 120 days to 1 year (any jail term must include 48 continuous hours jail or 10 days community service)
    • With probation: 120 days to 1 year (unless you request 30 month Drinking Driver Program, then the minimum jail time is 30 days; any jail term must include 48 continuous hours jail or 10 days community service)

License revocationGenerally 3 years

“Wet” Reckless Plea Bargains in DUI Cases

A “wet reckless” refers to a reckless driving offense where alcohol may have been involved.  But a wet reckless is not something for which you can be arrested.  It is simply an alternative charge offered as part of a negotiated settlement in a DUI case.

Is a wet reckless better than a DUI?

Pleading to a wet reckless has some advantages over a traditional DUI. For example:

  • No mandatory jail time
  • If jail time is imposed, it is capped at 90 days
  • Shorter probation period (1 to 2 years as opposed to 3 to 5 years for DUI)
  • Earlier eligibility to apply for expungement
  • Lower fines (about half of the fine for a DUI)
  • No mandatory license suspension
  • Shorter, if any, DUI school on 1st wet reckless (6 weeks vs. 3 mos. For DUI)

Is there a downside to a wet reckless?

  • The wet reckless will still count as a prior in court if you get another DUI and could subject you to sentencing as a repeat offender.
  • The DMV may suspend your license if your blood alcohol was 0.08% or above and you license suspension is upheld at the DMV hearing
  • Some auto insurance companies treat a wet reckless like a DUI for cancellation or rate raising purposes.

When is a DUI likely to be reduced to wet reckless?

Although policies vary from county to county, prosecutors often offer a wet reckless plea when your blood alcohol concentration is close to 0.08%, or there are problems with proving the case.

“Dry” Reckless Plea Bargains in DUI Cases

A “dry reckless” charge is simply reckless driving without alcohol or drug involvement.

Pleading to a dry reckless has several advantages over a traditional DUI. For example:

  • No mandatory sentencing enhancements for repeat dry reckless offenses
  • If jail time is imposed, it is capped at 90 days
  • Shorter probation period (1 to 2 years as opposed to 3 to 5 years for DUI)
  • Earlier eligibility to apply for expungement
  • Lower fines
  • No mandatory court-ordered license suspension
  • No mandatory DUI school (if school is imposed it’s capped at 6 weeks)
  • Fewer auto insurance consequences

Drinking and Driving – Under Age 21

It is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the legal drinking age of 21 if you any detectable alcohol in your system.

Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving

Under age driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01% or higher (infraction)

  • 1 year license suspension (no jail time)
  • Under age driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05% or higher (infraction)
    • 1 year license suspension (for a first offense)
    • $100 fine (for a first offense)
    • 3 months or longer mandatory alcohol education program (if age 18 or older)
  • Under age driving while actually impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, or with a blood alcohol concentration of .008% or greater
    • License suspension
    • 3 to 5 years informal probation
    • Fine: $390 to $1,000
    • 3 to 9 month alcohol and/or drug education program
    • Up to 6 months jail

DUI Penalty Enhancements

There is a long list of enhanced punishments — such as additional jail time, heftier fines and longer license suspensions — that can be imposed on people who are convicted of DUI under certain conditions.  Some examples triggering the enhancements include:

  • You have prior DUI convictions
  • You were driving recklessly
  • Your blood alcohol level was more than 0.15%
  • You refused or could not complete a chemical test
  • You had a passenger under age 18 in the car
  • You caused injury to another person
  • Your vehicle could be impounded