What Happens If You Get Charged with a DUI Offense?

Alcohol-influenced accidents are the number one cause of road-related deaths in the US, which is why a DUI is considered a serious offense.

If you find yourself in this situation, you have to take a series of steps to ensure you don’t end up in jail for a long time. From getting a DUI lawyer to appearing in court, the process can be tiring and very emotional.

You Will be Arrested

When charged with a DUI, it calls for an automatic arrest. You will be taken to the nearest police station, where you’ll get your mugshot taken and fingerprint uploaded onto the system.

Bail procedures depend on the state you are in, but most of the time, if someone pays your bail, you can go home. However, some laws demand that you stay in jail for a certain period or until you become sober.

Going to Court

After you are arrested, you will get a court summons and will have to appear in front of a judge to plead your case. This is where DUI lawyers come into play. If you find yourself in a situation where you are innocent, then a lawyer will help gather evidence and fight for that claim in court.

The police can also have evidence of their own such as a sobriety test, dashcam footage, etc. Either way, if you choose to plead not guilty, it is important to have legal support to prove this.

Forget the license

With the first DUI offense, you lose your license for a certain period. It all depends on your number of violations.

In the case where you have refused to take a breathalyzer test when you are pulled over, the police have the right to confiscate your license immediately.

Pay a Hefty Fine

Like any other rule or law, you must pay a fine when you are charged with a DUI. The fine depends on the circumstances of your case. If it is a severe offense where you injured someone else or perhaps damaged property, then the fine will reflect the same.

Probationary Period

After being charged and released further to jail time and payment of fines, you will be on probation by the court. The terms of probations are decided by the ruling judge but can include completing community service or attending self-help groups. If you fail to meet all the terms of probation, you risk ending up in jail for a very long time.

Back to Driving School

DUI’s mean no license, which means you’ll have to go back to driving school or, more specifically, a drunk driving school. This special alcohol education program will teach you about preventing drunk driving and how to avoid such situations.

Learning these precautions will prove to the judge that you are willing to learn from your mistakes, allowing you to get your license back in no time.


As a part of your sentence, you may get court-mandated counseling. This is done to understand if you are undergoing alcohol abuse or if it is a one-time situation. These addiction counselors will ask questions, create a conversation with you regarding your life, explain alcohol’s role, and give techniques on getting better.

Higher Auto Insurance

Another downside to a DUI is that you can get charged more for auto insurance as you are a liability based on previous events. Insurance companies can use this to increase your premium by twice or thrice the normal amounts.

Long-term Consequences

Being charged with such an offense can lead to many short-term and long-term consequences. It can affect your future jobs as employers usually run background checks for future employees, and a DUI can affect your chances of getting that job.

The same goes for colleges or housing applications. The DUI can also affect your current standing at your current job as jail time, or community service can impact your work schedules.