DUI First Offense: What to Do With Your First DUI
Getting your first DUI is a serious and life-changing event. Just because it is your first offense does not mean the courts will go easy on you but with the help of a DUI attorney, you can get your life back on track.
DUIs charges can vary depending on circumstance such as having an open container, having a child in the car, other passengers, or crashing your car. Overall, DUIs do follow similar punishments and fines.
What Qualifies as a DUI?
A DUI applies to anything that alters your brain and nervous system or impairs your judgment. Although DUIs generally are in regards to alcohol consumption, it can also apply to drugs like marijuana or prescription drugs. In order to be charged with a DUI, your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) must be .08 or more.
It is possible to be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) if your BAC is .05-.08 from consuming alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.
First DUI Criminal Charges
First time DUI offenders will face criminal charges with a minimum incarceration of 5 days and a maximum sentence of 1 year. It is rare for first offenders to go to jail but it is mandatory with a BAC of .20 or more.
If you are convicted of a DUI, you can be sentences to a minimum of 2 days in jail with a max of 180 days with a possibility of getting the sentence suspended. A suspension can occur if you attend an alcohol treatment program.
Drivers License Suspension for First Offenses
The first time you are charged with a DUI, you may get a 9 month license suspension with 12 points towards a license suspension. If you took a breathalyzer test, then you only have 7 days to discuss your DUI charges with an attorney and request a court hearing to keep your license.
Your license may be reinstated if you complete an alcohol and substance abuse assessment and treatment program.
If your BAC was .17 or more, then you will have a mandatory ignition interlock device placed on your car. This is known as a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), which requires you to blow into the device and pass in order to start your car.
Fines for First DUI & Other Costs
Fines involved with a first DUI offense are $600-$1,000 for a DUI and $200-$500 for a DWAI. Community service is also likely included in your punishment.
Getting a DUI is very expensive as there are many other costs involved. The national average cost of a DUI is $10,000. According to OneDUI.com, the average cost of a first time DUI in Colorado is $7,667-$10,067. The various factors that are included in the costs are:
- Posting Bail
- Time Off from Employment
- Employment Suspension or Loss Depending on Job
- Increase of Auto Insurance Cost
- Cost for Penalty Assessment
- Contribution to State Restitution Fund
- Contribution to Alcohol-Abuse Education Fund
- Blood/Breath Testing Fee
- Jail-Cite-and-Release Fee
- Driving/Alcohol-Awareness School
- License Reissue Fee
- Attorney Fee
The financial costs of getting a DUI is not small but having a DUI attorney to represent your case can result in lower fines or even getting your case dismissed.
What to Do After Getting Your First DUI
The first thing you should do after getting a DUI or DWAI charge is to seek legal counsel with an experienced DUI attorney. Then report to court to request getting your driver’s license back and to hear and defend your charges with your attorney.
If you are convicted of a DUI, it is essential to carry out your punishments and prove to the courts that you are willing to comply and own up to your actions.
Your auto insurance will be affected and an SR-22 form needs to be filled out. This specific insurance you’ll carry needs to be held for three years and if the policy lapses, the insurance agency is required to notify the State, which may result in a suspended license.
If you’ve been charged with your first DUI, then contact an experienced Boulder DUI attorney to help with your case. The Clark Law Firm has the unique knowledge and skills of being a former prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office. Learn more about Boulder DUI Attorney Phil Clark here or Contact Us today for a FREE consultation.