Most states have very stringent DUI penalties in place. In the majority of states across the country, even a first-offense conviction results in the loss of driving privileges, a hefty fine, and alcohol education program attendance. A DUI conviction also results in a high increase in how much auto insurance companies will charge for coverage. In many cases, premiums more than double what they were before the conviction.
The consequences of a DUI are magnified when the driver has also been involved in a car crash. In addition to being charged with drunk driving, the driver may also face charges of reckless driving, assault, or driving to endanger. If there are injured victims, it is almost a guarantee that the police will file additional charges against the driver besides DUI.
Penalties for subsequent convictions are even harsher and often result in some jail time. Multiple convictions can result in the permanent loss of license.
What happens if a driver refuses to take a breathalyzer test?
In the majority of states, when a driver refuses to submit to a breathalyzer, they automatically lose their license. The time varies depending on the laws of the state, but can range anywhere from three to six months or longer. Even without having the measurement of how much alcohol a driver has in their system. Police can charge a driver with drunk driving based on the behavior and actions of the driver, including their speech, appearance, reactions, and how you interact with them. If the officer suspects the driver is under the influence, the drive will be charged.
What measurement determines intoxication?
Every state in the U.S. has passed laws that state that a driver is considered under the influence of alcohol if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is measured at more than 0.8 percent. That level is lower for minors and commercial drivers. Many states are also arresting people who are “buzzed while driving.” This determination is made if their BAC level is below 0.08 percent but the officer feels the driver’s ability is compromised by the alcohol.
Are there civil consequences of a DUI Car Crash?
Although there is no jail time involved in a civil accident claim or lawsuit when there is an alcohol-related crash like there may be for the criminal case, the consequences that the driver faces can still be harsh. In many civil lawsuits involving drunk drivers, the court will order the at-fault driver to pay the victim punitive damages along with all of the economic and noneconomic damages the victim is entitled to.
And even though the at-fault driver’s car insurance company is supposed to cover these damages, it is not uncommon for all of these damages to add up to more than the coverage the driver has liability insurance for. This can lead to the victim filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in order to pursue damages with the help of a Personal Injury Lawyer locals trust.