The ramifications of drinking and driving go far beyond paying a few fines and fees. With a higher number of charges and greater severity of convictions come some real dire consequences.
Driving under the influence (DUI) in Mesa can lead to some heavy fines, but those aren’t the only costs you’ll be paying. Arizona has the strictest DUI punishments in the country. Depending on the number and severity of offenses, you could be looking at extensive jail time, license revocation and substance education.
A regretful ride
DUIs can have a wide range of consequences, but they often start with minimums and work their way up the ladder:
- First time: Things are no walk in the park on your first offense, but they are the lightest you’ll likely receive throughout the varying levels. Up to 10 days in jail, fines starting at $250 and a license suspension for nearly a year are available for the judge.
- Repeating: As your number of offenses rises, so do the penalties. Additional convictions could cost you the ability to drive for a year, and laws start to measure minimum jail time in months. The base for fines will usually go up as well, with an additional $250 for each offense.
- Extreme: If your blood alcohol content is 0.15 or higher, then you’re probably looking at a lofty charge. If this is your first charge, you may only have to handle a month in jail and a fine of at least $2,500 as well as future screening and treatment. If it’s not your first time, the court can take things even further. You could be up for more than two months of jail time, thousands more in fines and a revoked license for a year. To top it off, the courts could require you to attend – and pay for – substance abuse screenings, education and treatment.
- Aggravated: You could face an aggravated charge in cases like multiple convictions in a short window, driving on a suspended license or having a person under 15 in the car. The mandatory minimum for doing time is four months and you’ll likely lose your driver’s license for years, along with the substance abuse deal.
Make sure you understand what repeat and severe offenses can mean for your case. Even a first offense can seem harsh, but things may only be intensified from there.