What happens after your first DUI?

One beer and handing over keys

Can one beer get you a DUI?

Have you ever known anyone faced with a DUI charge? If you are a person that drinks and drives, you need to realize the seriousness of that action. There is literally lives at stake when you’re drinking and driving, and it usually isn’t the life of the one that has been drinking. So, if have never been pulled over and arrested with DUI charges, you are fortunate and have no idea what one DUI charge on your driving record can do. 

In the state of Indiana, the term used is OWI – “operating while intoxicated”, instead of DUI – “driving under the influence” or DWI – “driving while intoxicated”, but the severity is just as strong.  The OWI laws of Indiana prohibit operation of a vehicle with any of the following conditions:  

  • with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08% or higher
  • with a controlled substance in any amount of a schedule I or II 
  • while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs

The is an extensive list of which controlled substances fall under the schedule I and II classifications. Among those substances are cocaine, hallucinogenic drugs, marijuana, methamphetamine, or opiates. For underage drivers operating a vehicle with .02% or higher BAC, the state law in Indiana is “zero tolerance”.

So, can one beer get you’re a DUI charge?  In Indiana, a drunk driving charge is based on blood alcohol level and not the impairment of the driver. This means, that each person’s BAC is different because there are several factors involved. In addition to how much alcohol was consumed by the driver, their body size, gender, amount of alcohol and what type of alcohol can all factor into a DUI charge. 

You can find a BAC calculator and a BAC table on the state’s website, but keep in mind that the information is only approximations and the factors we just mentioned are not considered into these tables. The best advice for anyone to avoid a DUI charge is don’t drink and drive 

How long do you go to jail for DUI

When it comes to drug or drunk driving in Indiana, there are different categories, each having their own level of punishment:

  • Class C misdemeanor– This is the standard charge for a BAC of .08 percent to .15 percent, or if the officer believes the person is too intoxicated to drive. Sentence is up to 60 days in jail.
  • Class A misdemeanor – With a BAC over .15 percent, or evidence shows others are at risk by the driver’s actions, a longer jail sentence up to one year in jail is possible. 
  • Level 6 felony– A felony DUI charge happens when there is a minor in the vehicle, a dui with injury resulted, or a previous conviction for OWI within the last 5 years can result in a minimum of six and up to 30 months in prison sentence.
  • Level 5 felony – If anyone is injured while the driver of a vehicle is under drugs or drinking, sentencing of one year minimum and up to six years in prison is on the table. A prior conviction in the past 5 years will affect the length of prison time.
  • Level 4 felony– A sentence of two years minimum and up to 12 years in prison are possible, the longest sentences possible in Indian for anyone that caused a death while driving drunk with a suspended license, a high BAC, or any prior conviction in the last ten years.

The severity of mandatory minimum jail and prison sentencing doesn’t come into effect until drunk driving is a felony level. A criminal defense attorney can often plead their client’s case so that jail is avoided, but community service and probation may be issued by the judge. Fines and restitution are also handed down to the accused with a dui charge. 

Does a DUI mean you are an alcoholic?

Having a DUI charge does not determine a person to be an alcoholic. A dui charge can happen to a person the first time they have ever drove after drinking because one traffic law error and their BAC was above the legal limit. While learning moderation before getting behind the wheel is a good idea, the better idea is not to drink and drive at all. Call a Lyft, taxi, or Uber if you don’t have a designated driver. 

Which is worse a DUI or a DWI?        

In Indiana, a DUI charge is more specific to alcohol while a DWI, referred to as OWI, is an umbrella that covers the intoxication of alcohol, drug,  prescription drugs, marijuana, narcotics, or pills, etc. The “D” is the active of driving, and the” O” is for operating. This gives law enforcement the ability to apprehend or stop a person doing things that aren’t considered driving. This can be sitting in a parked car with the engine running. An OWI does not pertain only to driving a vehicle, it also encapsules a bicycle, boat, or even a tractor or tricycle, if the person stopped under the influence while operating a mode of transportation. 

cuffs and a drink

How a DUI affects your life?

A DUI conviction will have an effect on your daily life for the unforeseen future. Some of the obstacles you’ll face after receiving a DUI charge are: 

  1. Permanent entry on your criminal record that includes fingerprints and mug shot.
  2. Suspended driver’s license for minimum six months up to two years.
  3. High fines to be paid by stated time as issued by the judge.
  4. Installation of a lock out system in your vehicle for a period of time between one year to three years that is paid for by you. 
  5. Requirement to attend and pass DUI classes and/or alcohol or drug counseling.
  6. Auto insurance rate increase, possibility of losing insurance. 

Another way your life will be affected after receiving an OWI is your personal life. Your family will be financially strained by posting bail and loss of work on your part. If you are able to keep your job, some employers frown on DUI charges, concern if with a DUI can I still drive to work may not be an issue. Your standing in the community will be negatively impacted as well. Need help with DUI bail in Avon and Indianapolis, IN? Call 317-423-9300 today!