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What are the consequences of drunk driving?

  • Birdsall Obear

A drunk driving arrest can have life-altering consequences. Drunk driving defense attorneys may be necessary to combat charges and lessen serious penalties.

Police may stop a suspect and have them perform a field sobriety test or preliminary breathalyzer test. A driver can refuse these tests, but there are consequences for an improper refusal.

Police may request a breathalyzer or urine test from a motorist arrested for drunk driving. The penalty for refusing these tests is a one-year driver's license suspension, two years for the second refusal, and three years for the third refusal. A motorist may request a hearing on their refusal.

A test result showing a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08 percent or higher will result in a citation, and the driver will lose their license for six months. The driver may challenge the results in a hearing.

A first-time conviction can lead to a six to nine-month license suspension, six points added to a driving record, fines, community service work, assessment by an alcohol agency, compliance with treatment recommendations and restitution. A BAC test result of 0.15 percent or higher will require the installation of an ignition interlock device in the driver's car for one year.

The penalty for a second offense within 10 years requires imprisonment of up to six months, license suspension of up to 18 months, fines, installation of an ignition interlock device, and many of the penalties for the first offense. A third offense includes a mandatory sentence of 45 days to one year, fines based upon the BAC level, license suspension of two to three years, installation of an ignition interlock device for up to three years and many of the other penalties for the first offense.

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