Driving under the influence (DUI) is the crime or offense of driving or operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs (including recreational drugs and those prescribed by physicians), to a level that renders the driver incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely. The criminal offense may not involve actual driving of the vehicle but rather may broadly include being physically in control of a car while intoxicated even if the person charged is not driving. For example, a person found in the driver’s seat of a car while intoxicated and holding the keys, even while parked, may be charged with DUI, because he or she is in control of the vehicle.
In construing the terms DUI, DWI, OWI, and OVI, some states make it illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence or driving while intoxicated while others indicate that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle. There is a split of authority across the country regarding this issue. Some states permit enforcement of DUI/DWI and OWI/OVI statutes based on “operation and control” of a vehicle, while others require actual “driving”. State statutes vary as to what the blood alcohol content level is, but it ranges from .08 to .10, to constitute a DUI.
What Happens When You Get a DUI?
First, you will be arrested after failing a sobriety test or breathalyzer test. The officer will issue a summons or ticket with a court date. Once the officer has the cuffs on your wrist you will be taken back to the station. Some states require you sober up before getting to go others just require that bail be posted. Then you would find an attorney to look for any evidence that can be dismissed. Regardless of your driving or criminal history, expect to lose your driving privileges for a period. In some states, you may receive a hardship license that allows you to drive to school and/or work. Your driving privileges will typically be revoked in court, but if you refused a sobriety test or breathalyzer, they might be revoked immediately.
If you’re convicted of driving while under the influence, you will receive a sentence that will most definitely include a fine. There are minimum and maximum penalties that vary by state, but these could be enhanced if there are additional charges. As laws become stricter nationwide, jail time is becoming mandatory for even first-time offenders in many states. If you’re a first-time offender, your jail time may only span a day or two. Still, you should expect to serve some time in jail.
If there are any charges above the DUI, such as damaged property or personal injury, you may be looking at a steeper sentence. Then you must complete probation even if you’ve only spent one day in jail, you should expect to adhere to probationary terms that will be set by the sentencing judge. If you don’t meet your outlined terms, you’ll be sent back to jail. After probation, your insurance will likely go up.
Is Rehab Mandatory After Getting a DUI?
While first-time offenders are typically not court-mandated to go to rehab, a second or third offense will result in court-mandated treatment for alcohol or drug abuse. Since having the privilege of driving isn’t a right of the people in the eyes of the law, most cases, depending on the state, will mandate a DUI School course be completed. The state is required to assign a counselor who is qualified to evaluate if you have an alcohol addiction or any type of drug-related addiction, in this event a treatment center will be referred and must be completed successfully before the alcohol dependent person can attempt to get their license back.
Getting Help After Receiving a DUI
At Recreate Life Counseling treatments are designed with respect for our clients’ core values. Having a DUI could be a sign that it is time to get help for alcoholism or drug addiction. We understand and believe in our clients and we help them with the journey of recreating themselves and their lives. Here in Boynton Beach, Florida, we will create an individualized treatment program that meets the needs of each client so that the vision they have for their lives can become a reality.
We are constantly updating our theories and methods to avoid ineffective methods from the past. Our outpatient rehab will accommodate the daily responsibilities of our clients without interfering with their work, school and family obligations. Our clients will be able to discuss rehab options that best fit their needs. We walk them through the entire recovery process.
We don’t just treat the addiction because we assess the person a whole. We encourage that you talk to one of our team experts in substance abuse to answer all your questions about getting help for yourself or an addicted loved one.