A first drunk driving conviction is a misdemeanor criminal offense with accompanying penalties. The justice system is not sympathetic to those who drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and will send a message to the offender at the time of sentencing. If the driver did not get the message and ends up arrested again for a DUI/OVI, the punishments become more significant with each occurrence.
Keep in mind that repeat offenders can face up to 5 years of mandatory imprisonment. If their repeat offense is also categorized as a felony DUI, then he or she could face an additional, non-mandatory sentence of 9-36 consecutive months upon discretion.
Aside from the harsh sentencing handed down by a judge, a DUI can affect other aspects of life like loss of employment, reputation, loss of child custody rights, increased insurance premiums, and more.
In addition to points on a driver's license and payment of license reinstatement fees, the following penalties are for two or more convictions:
Subsequent fifth offense within 20 years can mean up to 5 years in jail and permanent loss of driving privileges, and mandatory participation in alcohol treatment programs. Penalties can increase if the driver's alcohol level (BAC) was excessively high or the driver refused to submit to testing conducted by the arresting officer. Leaving the scene of a DUI caused accident is an additional crime.
If charged with both a repeat offense and a felony DUI, you could face sentencing as a repeat offender (up to 5 years of incarceration) as well as sentencing for your felony DUI (9 – 36 months of incarceration).
The tests performed to detect the amount of alcohol or drugs present in the driver are often inaccurate or misleading. The suspected impaired driver usually submits to these tests on the side of the road, often in the dark, and in an uncontrolled environment. It is easy to err when dealing with blood or urine tests if the tester does not follow the specific protocol and exact procedures. Mistakes can happen that affect the validity of evidence. OVI/DUI offenses are serious and a conviction can stay on your record for a long time.
When you find yourself facing multiple DUI/OVI charges in Columbus, OH and the prospect of losing driving privileges, you have a serious legal problem. Call The Meranda Law Firm LTD for the help you need.