Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence or DUI is a serious offense. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal, but what you might not know is that there are different types of DUI charges and that each of them can have different consequences on your life.
If this is your first offense, for example, the consequences will be less serious than if you have been arrested for driving under the influence more than once.
Let’s learn about seven types of DUI charges and their explanations:
Type #1: First offense DUI
A first offense DUI is considered a misdemeanour offense. But the consequences you would face for a first offense DUI charge depend on the laws in the place where you live.
These types of DUI also depend on your blood alcohol content, BAC, and driving record. For example, you might be required to spend time in jail after being convicted, but if your BAC is low and your driving record is clean, you might be able to serve your sentence by working in a community service program instead.
You could also have to pay a fine, and your driver’s license could get suspended for some time. Additionally, your car insurance rates could go up, and you might be required to undergo some alcohol education classes before you can get your license back.
Type #2: Second offense DUI
If you are convicted of a second offense DUI within a certain period, depending on where you live, the penalties should be more severe than for a first offense DUI.
You could have to go to jail for up to a year and have to pay a heavy fine. You could lose your license for two years, and of course, your car insurance rates would go up again.
Your BAC would help determine the severity of the penalties you would face, but refusing to get your BAC levels tested would not be in your favour as it could result in a longer license revocation period.
Type #3: Third offense DUI charge
As you might have guessed by now, a third offense DUI comes with even more severe penalties than a second offense. Expect to lose your driving privileges for at least a few years. These types of DUI charges may also involve paying a heavy fine and serving jail time.
Keep in mind that the laws regarding DUI charges and their consequences can vary depending on where you live. No matter which type of DUI you have been charged with, you will need legal advice and representation by a professional criminal lawyer. Having a great lawyer by your side is the best way to ensure your rights will be protected throughout the legal process.
Type #4: Aggravated DUI charge
You can get charged with aggravated DUI if your DUI case features some aggravating factors. Depending on these factors, your sentence could be increased, or your charge could be raised to a higher level.
For example, driving under the influence on a suspended or revoked license will result in an aggravated DUI charge. Same thing if you have been caught driving at an excessive speed, with an extremely high BAC, or while minors were present inside the vehicle. An aggravated DUI could lead to prison time and a heavy fine.
Type #5: Felony DUI
A felony DUI is similar to an aggravated DUI, as it refers to aggravating circumstances that can raise the level of your DUI charge.
If you caused a collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian, or property while driving under the influence, you could be charged with felony DUI.
The same thing applies if your actions have caused bodily harm to someone else or if you have been convicted for the same offense multiple times during a predetermined period. Once again, a felony DUI can lead to a prison sentence and a heavy fine.
Type #6: Commercial DUI regulations
If you have been caught driving under the influence while on the job, you will be charged with commercial DUI regulations.
A professional who owns a commercial driver’s license, whether they are driving a car, a truck, or a bus, is held to very high standards for impaired driving. They have a lower threshold for BAC levels than non-commercial drivers.
The result of a commercial DUI could be a suspended or revoked license. These types of DUI will lead to increased difficulty for a commercial driver to find employment in their field again.
Type #7: DUI manslaughter or murder
Finally, if your drunk driving has resulted in the death of another person, you could be charged with DUI manslaughter or murder. These charges are some of the most serious charges involving a motor vehicle, and they come with extremely severe penalties, including huge fines and long prison sentences.