Civil and Criminal Penalties for Drunk Driving
If you are involved in a car accident and you were accused of drinking while driving, there are all sorts of civil and criminal penalties that you may face. As a result, you will want to do everything possible to prove that you were not under the influence at the time of the accident.
A DUI can lead to a range of criminal penalties. You will likely need to pay a fine, and you may also spend time in jail. In most jurisdictions, a first time DUI is a misdemeanor. However, if you have already had a DUI, you may be charged with a felony.
You may have your driver's license revoked for as long as two years after your conviction. If you undergo a background check, the DUI will be listed in your criminal history. This can affect your ability to rent an apartment and can also affect your ability to obtain employment. Also, if you are seeking a grant or student loan, the amount you may receive might be reduced.
Fighting DUI Charges
To have DUI charges dropped, there are several approaches you can take. For example, you could argue that the method used to detect a very high BAC was flawed. For example, a breathalyzer will sometimes produce a false positive if you were smoking prior to using it. A blood test might produce a false positive if it is not preserved properly and is allowed to ferment.
The Role of a DUI in an Accident Case
When being sued for an accident, you'll be more likely to be held responsible for the accident if the courts believe that you were drinking while driving. Therefore, if this isn't true, you'll need to have your DUI charges dismissed or you may be forced to pay more in damages. However, if the DUI charge is not factored into your car accident, the courts may determine that you are only partially at fault or not at fault at all.
The criminal penalties may prevent you from maintaining employment and this may make it more difficult to pay a settlement. Even if your insurance provider will pay for the damages of the third party, you'll still see an increase in your insurance premium. For this reason, it's important that you work closely with a drunk driving attorney who can provide consultation on how to best move forward.