DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) also referred to as DUI (Driving Under The Influence) is becoming a very serious offense. The number of lives lost due to road carnage is on the rise. DWI also leads to loss of livelihood, impairment of the limbs, disintegration of families, and also damage to property. The penalty handed out to a person found guilty by the Court of Law will vary from one region to another and may comprise of the following:
First Conviction – Class B Misdemeanor
The First conviction comes with a number of penalties, which will depend on the courts ruling. Basically, it may entail a court fine not exceeding $ 2,000 or a jail term of a minimum of 72 hours and a maximum of 6 months. A person may also be forced to offer community service lasting between 24 hours and 100 hours. Possession of an open alcoholic container may also increase the penalties.
Second Conviction –Class A Misdemeanor
A person found guilty of driving a vehicle while intoxicated may be penalized as follows: A fine not exceeding $ 4,000, A jail term of not less than 72 hours in a county jail or not exceeding 1 year in a maximum prison. The offender may also serve no less than 80 hours and no more than 200 hours Community service. Additionally, a judge may also suspend the license of the offender for a period of between 6 months and 2 years.
Third Convection – Third Degree Felony
This offense is classified as a felony basically meaning that the jail term is three years or more. It may also include a fine not exceeding $10,000, A jail term of no less than 2 years and no more than 10 years. Community service will range from between 160 and 600 hours. An offender may also be forced to install an ignition interlock device.
The penalties will be stiffer for repeat offenders. A judge may order a person to go for rehabilitation or revoke his driver’s license for an extended period. In a serious case where a person is killed, additional charges may be instituted. This may include “Intoxication Manslaughter” which has very stiff penalties that include a fine of up to $10,000 and being jailed for no less than 2 years and no more than 10 years.