Possible Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated

Jun 24

Alcohol can negatively affect your driving skills, making you a risk on the road. For this reason, jurisdictions and states have made driving while intoxicated illegal. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you may suffer from various consequences, such as those enumerated below.


If you are caught driving while drunk, you may be required to pay a lump sum. This may be several hundreds of dollars, but it can reach up to thousands upon thousands, depending on the severity of the offense.

License Suspension

You may also be stripped of your privilege to drive. The length of your license suspension may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the number of times you have committed the offense of drunk driving. It may be 30 days, 6 months, or even up to 5 years.

Jail Time

You can also be required to complete a jail sentence, and this sentence may also be in a state prison, depending on the circumstances of your offense. This is particularly troubling if somebody else has been hurt because of an accident that has occurred while you are driving while drunk.

Vehicle Confiscation

There are also some states where the vehicle you have used for driving under the influence of alcohol is confiscated. The confiscation can be temporary or permanent. Again, this depends on the jurisdiction and the severity of your offense.

Ignition Interlock Installation

If your vehicle isn’t confiscated, it may be required to have an ignition interlock, a device that prevents your car from starting if your blood alcohol content level is above the legal limit.


You may not be in jail, but you may have limited liberties, like being required to do community service or take drunk driving prevention programs. This probation can last a long time, such as one full year or more.

It is important to reiterate that the severity of these penalties may depend on various factors, such as the level of your blood alcohol content upon arrest, the number of times you have been arrested for the same offense, and whether an innocent party has been injured because of your recklessness.

There is a variety of defenses you can use to reduce the penalties or even dismiss your case. This is only fair, to make sure that the law is only penalizing those who are truly guilty of drunk driving. But to avoid courts, lawyers, and their fees, the best thing to do is to not drive while drunk.

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