We know that if we get a DUI in Indiana, we are likely to face some serious penalties. While judges have some discretion in sentencing, they are bound by the state statutes that outline penalties for drunk driving.
These statutes are not kind to motorists. Moreover, there are consequences for getting a DUI that lie outside the sentence imposed by the court.
The severity of the statutory penalty for getting a DUI depends on how high the motorist’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was, the age of the motorist, whether the motorist has a past DWI, if a minor was in the vehicle at the time and whether the motorist caused a serious or fatal drunk driving crash.
If it is your first DUI and your BAC is between 0.08% and 0.15%, you could be jailed for 60 days and fined $500.
But if your BAC was 0.15% or above and you caused a fatal drunk driving crash, you could be jailed for up to 12 years and fined up to $10,000.
In addition, you will lose your driver’s license for a period spanning from 90 days to 10 years, depending on the severity of your DUI.
Going to jail and being fined can seriously impact your life, as they take away your freedom and hard-earned money. In addition, there are real-life consequences to getting a DUI that lie outside of the official sentence imposed by the court.
For example, if you get a DUI, you could lose your job. If you are jailed, you cannot show up for work, and enough no-shows often means a person gets fired. If you must drive as part of your job duties, and your license is suspended because of a DUI, it is likely your employer will decide to let you go as you cannot perform the essential component of your job.
In addition, if you get a DUI and want to rent an apartment, the landlord might not be so willing to accommodate you. New tenants are often subject to a background check, and some landlords are not willing to rent an apartment to someone with a DUI on their record. If you planned on living in subsidized housing, this might no longer be an option now that you have a DUI.
A DUI could cause you to lose custody of your child. Rhode Island courts always consider the best interests of your child in custody proceedings. A court might question whether the child is safe and well-cared for by someone who might have an alcohol addiction and has a criminal history involving alcohol. Fortunately, you can mitigate this by seeking treatment for alcohol misuse.
The penalties for getting a DUI can be handed down by a judge or they can be handed down by society. Fortunately, there are many ways to defend yourself if you are charged with DUI and reduce or eliminate many of the negative consequences of your arrest.