Back to Blog

What Happens When You Get a DUI?

Cop car lights

Getting a DUI can be pretty terrifying. In most states, even a first offense is considered a criminal act and can have serious consequences. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it’s important to know what can happen. Listed below are a few of the most important questions about what happens when you get a DUI.

What makes a DUI?

To be charged with a DUI, you must be operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or illegal drugs. 

For adults, there are different legal limits for blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. In most states, you may be arrested if your BAC exceeds about 0.08%. However, every state is different. For example, in Utah, you can be convicted if your BAC is over 0.05%. Some states might charge you with higher offenses if your alcohol content level is over 0.15%. 

In the U.S, you’ll need to check your state for details about what constitutes a DUI. Keep in mind that in every state drinking and driving under the age of 21 is illegal. An underage driver can be arrested for driving intoxicated, no matter what their BAC level is. Also, if you’re operating a commercial vehicle, some places can arrest you if they suspect you’re driving under the influence. This is true even if your BAC is under the normal legal limit. 

Do You Get Arrested for a DUI?

Because it’s a serious criminal offense, there is a chance you’ll be charged and arrested if caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These charges may be called a DUI, driving under the influence, or a DWI, driving while impaired. 

There are a few different circumstances that might result in a DUI arrest. You might be reported by witnesses or be caught driving erratically by a patrol car. A police officer can conduct a field sobriety test. Based on the results, you might be taken in for questioning or booked. During questioning, the station will check your BAC levels to see if they’re within legal limits.

How Many Drinks Is Too Much?

Most people think they can avoid a DUI by only drinking one glass of wine or a few beers. However, many factors influence your BAC. These can include weight, metabolism, medications, even how much food you’ve eaten that day. That’s why it’s important to be very careful about mixing driving and alcohol.

What Happens When You Get Your First DUI?

There are a few things that can happen with your first DUI. Depending on the circumstances, you may be booked and taken in for fingerprinting. In some states, you may be charged with higher offenses based on your BAC. 

If it’s your first offense, you’ll probably be charged with a misdemeanor. At this level, you probably won’t need a lawyer and can just pay the fine. However, if you have multiple DUI’s or other moving violations, you may face more serious consequences. 

What Happens When You Get a DUI?

There are a few things that come with a DUI. Depending on your circumstances, you may face fines, criminal convictions, even jail time. For first offenses, many people will just plead guilty and receive a lighter sentence. However, this may not be the best option if this is your second or third conviction.

If you’re involved in an accident, you’ll probably be paying for most of the repairs out-of-pocket. There’s a good chance the accident won’t be covered under your insurance policy. While your insurer might pay for damage to a third-party’s vehicle, you’re considered liable for the bulk of the damage. 

What Should You Do If You Get a DUI?

If your license is in jeopardy or you’re being sent to court, make sure to find dependable legal representation. If there’s any doubt about a conviction, you may be able to get a plea bargain. A plea bargain is when a person pleads guilty in order to receive a less severe sentence. However, if you’ve already pled guilty, there may not be a whole lot a lawyer can do for you. 

What Happens After a DUI?

Even after the arrest, you may still face a lot of consequences for a DUI. You may lose a job or license. A DUI conviction may prevent you from applying for certain positions, especially if they involve driving. One of the biggest things an arrest will affect is your car insurance. Your rates will probably go up. DUI’s and other moving violations stay on your insurance record for a long time, up to 5 years after the incident.

If you’re worried about your insurance policy after a DUI, make sure to talk with your agent. It’s important to be upfront about DUI’s and other violations, especially if you ever need to buy a new policy. Plenty of insurers offer policies despite DUI’s and DWI’s. 

If you have any questions about getting a new insurance policy with a DUI in your history, talk with an online comparison tool. An application like Versured can help you find policies that fit your specific needs. 

Key Takeaways:

  • DUI’s are usually measured by BAC, or blood alcohol content level. There are a lot of biological factors that affect your alcohol content level. Though the legal limit for BAC while driving changes from state to state, most set their limit around 0.08%. Make sure to look over your state’s information to learn more.

  • DUI’s and DWI’s are both serious criminal offenses. If you’re charged with either, it can affect your job, your criminal history, and your entire life. If necessary, hire legal representation to look over your case.

  • DUI’s have a big effect on your car insurance, raising prices and making it difficult to get a policy. However, you can still find coverage with the right tools.
Blog Auto What Happens When You Get a DUI?

Recent Topics

What Are the Best Roadside Assistance Companies?

Roadside assistance is a wonderful thing to have. It can come through in a pinch when you most need it....

The Most Popular Employee Benefits for Service Indus...

Attracting and retaining talent is an important part of any successful business. For businesses in the service industry, hiring and...

Be Skeptical of Traditional Burials: Alternative Bur...

While many people still participate in traditional funerals and ceremonies, there are plenty of other choices to choose from. More...