By: Mary Ann Pekara
There are a variety of consequences that can come from a DWI conviction. Each state has its own set of mandatory penalties for a conviction, some of which automatically kick in based on the particular case.
DWI penalties come in many forms, from fines and required educational classes to community service, vehicle impoundment and even jail time. The DWI consequences in a particular case depend on the exact circumstances. For example, a repeat DWI offender is more likely to face harsher penalties. The same goes if someone was hurt or killed in an accident caused by driving while intoxicated.
A DWI attorney may be able to answer your questions if you want to know more about the consequences or penalties in a DWI case. If you would like to get in touch with one of our sponsoring DWI attorneys, please fill out the FREE case evaluation form below. An attorney can talk to you about DWI consequences.
Penalties for DWI
There is a wide range of possible penalties for a conviction following a DWI charge. The particular consequences will likely depend on the state DWI laws where the offense took place, the number of previous DWI convictions, and other factors. The following is an overview of some of the penalties that someone facing a DWI conviction may come across.
Fines and Vehicle Impoundment
Fines are a common penalty for a DWI conviction. Most states include fines in the list of such penalties. These fines tend to increase with each new DWI conviction.
Impoundment is the legal seizure and holding of property. In the case of a car impoundment, the state will take and keep the car until you redeem it or the required impoundment period ends. The state can take your car for a number of reasons, including for those who have repeat DWI convictions. The idea is to prevent repeat offenders from driving drunk again.
Driver's License Suspension and Ignition Interlock System
For those convicted of even their first DWI, driver's license suspension is often mandatory. The duration of the suspension can vary. There is often a fee involved to reinstate it afterward.
Other DWI convictions can require that an ignition interlock system be installed on the dashboard of a car. This system keeps the car from starting if the driver fails a BAC test. The driver has to blow into a BAC tester before starting the car, and if he or she fails to register under the established limit, it won't start.
Jail time is a possibility often in repeat DWI offense cases, or in cases in which a certain blood alcohol content limit is exceeded by the person convicted of DWI, or if someone is hurt or killed as a result of drunk driving. Felony DWI, for example, could be the result in some states for a second DWI conviction within a ten-year period. Other states may register a felony DWI after the third or fourth offense. A felony DWI conviction, as opposed to the misdemeanor counterpart, often involves a jail sentence.
Contact a DWI Attorney About Possible DWI Consequences
The consequences of a DWI will depend on the particular circumstances. If you would like to discuss a DWI case with one of our sponsoring attorneys, we can connect you when you fill out our free case evaluation form below.