Effects of a Drunk Driving Conviction
Drunk driving is the act of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs which have, to some extent, impaired the mental and motor skills of the driver. It is considered as a misdemeanor offence and is illegal in all states of America (although reinforcement can vary depending on each state). Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents and deaths, accounting to about 40 percent of traffic fatalities. Although most common with automobiles, drunk driving can also be applicable to boating and aircraft flying. Any type of vehicles than can be driven can be used for drunk driving, such as carriages and farm machinery.
Penalties for drunk driving can vary from state to state, but is it generally a light offence. A Nashville criminal lawyer can tell you that drivers committing DUI can be charged with higher penalties if alcohol was involved in the death or serious injuries of victims in the accident. Certain states can permanently revoke driving permits of people who have committed multiple DUI offences. There are many ways that drunk driving charges can be punished, such as:
- Impoundment of vehicle and forfeiture – under certain conditions, there are some states that permit the impoundment and forfeiture or vehicles that have been driven during a DUI incident.
- SR-22 – a form of administrative insurance document that permits a driver to keep their license. The drivers are required to carry the SR-22 for at least 3 years to have their license back.
- DUI plates – many states give special license plates to DUI offenders giving them privileges, which the court can rule out and give their full privileges back.
- Ignition-interlock – these are devices which the driver must breathe into in order to start the vehicle. It helps in measuring the blood alcohol level of the driver. Payment for installing it is shouldered by the DUI offender.
- Restricted licenses – this special licenses gives (usually first-time) DUI offender special licenses to drive to and from school or work.
- Diversion programs – also called DUI programs, these are imposed by the court and are required from the DUI offender to complete.
Being caught driving drunk can be incredibly costly. Aside from fines, DUI offenders will be paying for lawyers fees, the DUI ticket, court costs, as well as higher insurance premiums, car repair and maintenance, and possible compensation for injuries of possible victims. This is aside from the trauma and possible risks of a car accident.