For driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, each state has different regulations for how much jail time someone receives for different levels of offenses. Either way, receiving a DUI or DWI is a very serious charge. Some estimates suggest that almost 40 percent of all traffic deaths in the U.S. are related to alcohol in some degree, and every state in America has regulations and consequences affiliated with a DUI or DWI charge.
All 50 states in the U.S. have set a blood alcohol concentration level at .08 percent as the legal limit for impaired driving in cases involving alcohol. However, for drivers under the age of 21 years old, any amount of alcohol counts towards a DUI charge, and charges may be levied against commercial drivers if their BAC meets lower thresholds. In addition, drivers who are under the influence of illicit drugs or even prescription medicines can be considered impaired under certain circumstances.
There are a number of factors that can affect how long a person might be incarcerated after being convicted of a DUI or DWI. For example, some states increase the severity of penalties based on the reported level of impairment, which means that higher BAC levels might result in longer jail sentences. The number of previous drunk driving convictions a person has on his or her record can also affect the sanctions. In addition, if the charges involve a car accident that damages property, injures another person, or results in the death, a convicted driver’s potential penalties can be dramatically increased, and depending on the jurisdiction, a person might face mandatory minimum sentences.
If you are facing drunk driving allegations, you may also be facing heavy fines in addition to mandatory periods of incarceration. However, if you are planning to dispute the charges, you should hire a lawyer who is familiar with DUI or DWI defense cases.