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DUI Penalties

Driving drunk is a serious violation of the law. It is also a severe threat to public safety. So, if you get a DUI or DWI, you might face a variety of penalties.

Each state punishes such occurrences severely. However, specific punishments differ by state, and even from driver to driver. What are some of the penalties you can expect following a DUI?

1. Insurance Rate Changes

By driving drunk, you pose a major safety risk to others on the road. Therefore, your insurance company might have to raise your insurance premiums to cover your new cost risks. Some insurers might even cancel your coverage. At minimum, the DUI will likely deal a blow to your checkbook and insurance eligibility.

2. Loss of Driving Privileges

The DUI will often result in a temporary loss of your driving privileges. Some states will suspend your license (and if you commit further offenses, they might revoke it permanently). Others will impose restrictions on where or when you can drive. In most states, your license will also accumulate points, denoting you as a high-risk driver. Do not attempt to drive if you're not allowed to during these penalty periods.

3. SR-22 Penalties

Some states will impose the SR-22 penalty on DUI offenders. The SR-22 is a form you obtain from your car insurer. It verifies for the state DMV that you have a car insurance policy. While the SR-22 might sound simple, no one wants to get it. It could trigger premium increases or coverage cancellation. Many insurers do not issue policies to SR-22 recipients.

4. Traffic School

A common penalty for DUI recipients is the requirement to attend traffic school. During these courses, you essentially have to re-learn to drive. You might have to successfully pass the course to return to the road. These courses will likely come at a cost to you. It might also lead to a loss of personal time because of the class schedule.

5. Probation and Jail Time

Some DUIs might only lead to financial penalties or community service requirements. However, others might lead to probation requirements and even jail time. While rare, the more severe penalties are more likely to arise following repeat DUIs or other offenses. Furthermore, if you cause a wreck or third-party injuries during the initial DUI, severe penalties might occur.

Each of these DUI penalties might hurt you in different ways. Therefore, you should avoid them entirely by being a responsible driver.

Never drink alcohol and drive. You have such options as public transportation, rideshares or designated drivers to keep you safe. Use them whenever you plan to consume alcohol and travel.

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