The Many Stiff and Not So Stiff Penalties Courts Can Assess For A DUI Accident
Anybody who decides to drink then drive needs to be aware that their possibility of having an accident increases when their blood alcohol content rises. Alcohol and other mood-changing drugs can impair a driver’s ability to safely operate their vehicle. Most folks see a DUI accident as a much more serious accident than a vehicle accident where the driver is sober.
Drunk drivers who get involved in an accident would be lucky if the only punishment they get is to be ordered to seek alcoholism help at an alcohol addiction treatment center.
The public is outraged by the high number of DUI accidents there are, especially with the level of damage DUI drivers cause. For that reason, strict laws were passed in the majority of states to severely punish drunk drivers who have caused DUI accidents. Each state recognizes that 0.08 percent blood alcohol content is considered legally drunk. And, any DUI accident that results from them is treated like a DUI conviction case.
When A DUI Is A Misdemeanor
When someone has been pulled over by the cops and found to be over the legal limit, it’s typically a misdemeanor. The penalties from this charge are usually light so long as no injuries to people or property occurred.
When A DUI Charge Becomes A Felony: What Are The Penalties For A DUI Accident
However, if there has been a vehicle accident caused by a person’s drinking, the penalty is automatically converted into a felony, which has more serious consequences. Of course, how serious the consequences are will depend on the level of injuries and property damage in the DUI accident. In fact, jail/prison terms are not out of the question in a DUI accident that results in injuries or property damage.
Besides serving a lengthy jail/prison term sentence, people who have caused a DUI accident that involves injuries or property damage can expect large fines and long probationary period, more so than if a similar crime without these things had resulted.
Another penalty that’s often assessed without or not there was a DUI accident is the revocation or suspension of the driver’s license. However, with a DUI accident, it is most certainly done to keep the party from driving the roads again. It’s not unheard of for drivers to keep their licenses until they go to trial, however, that’s not always the case in a DUI accident case and immediate loss of driving privileges do occur.
The person who caused the DUI accident will be accountable for all court costs and be ordered to order go substance abuse treatment.
Who Is Usually Involved In A DUI Accident
Yes, not all drunk drivers are responsible for every vehicle accident fatality; but, DUI accidents attribute to 32 percent of vehicle deaths. Sometimes it’s the drunk driver him/herself that is killed due to not buckling up. However, a large number of those killed were innocent persons of all ages.
Mandatory Sentences For DUI Accidents
In most states, any person involved in a DUI accident that results in death can be charged with vehicular manslaughter. If the driver is convicted under this charge, they can face a long-term prison sentence. While it was possible for judges to reduce sentence or get time off for good behavior, the majority of states now impose a mandatory sentence to be served before the convicted driver is released into society.
The only surefire way to keep from being in a DUI accident is to not drink and drive. If you want to drink, be sure you have a way home other than taking yourself – designated driver or cab. If you want to drive home, don’t drink!
Check out Ohio DUI laws and its own regulations