Is DUI a criminal offense? This question is one that is commonly asked by people who have just received a DUI or know someone who has.
To better understand the seriousness of the charge, it's important to consider the risks of the behavior that leads to it. Drinking and driving is against the law. This is because drunk drivers put others at risk. Thousands of motorists are killed each month by drunk drivers who make fatal mistakes on the road. Sometimes families with small children, expectant mothers or young teens are killed in these accidents. Society rightly has a dim view of the needless deaths of innocent people.
So, is it a criminal offense? The answer is yes.
Since drivers driving under the influence of alcohol put the lives of innocent people in danger, the law has harsh penalties for them. In addition to hefty fines, there is also usually a jail sentence. Not every state has identical laws regarding DUIs. However, every state is in agreement that offenders must be punished thoroughly. Some states have stricter rulings for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders face even harsher penalties. States that are more densely populated usually have the strictest laws for DUIs.
Does it results in arrest?
The answer to this question is yes. There is no state that will allow a drunk driver to get back in their vehicle and drive away with a citation. Once an officer determines and proves that a driver is over the legal limit, the driver is arrested. The car is usually towed and impounded. Although the driver will not be able to drive after having their license suspended, they'll still have to pay to have their vehicle taken out of the impound lot.
Is it a criminal offense with long-term consequences?
The answer to this is yes. In addition to having a license suspended, the driver faces a grim future. If the DUI included an accident with innocent victims, the drunk driver may have to pay medical bills, funeral costs and face a lengthy jail sentence. If the driver is able to reinstate their license in the future, there will be a requirement to carry an extremely expensive insurance policy. No insurance company will allow a person with a DUI to enjoy reasonable rates. From the insurer's perspective, the driver is a major risk and will be billed accordingly. Is DUI a criminal offense that will make life more difficult? Yes, it surely is. Drinking before or while driving is risky, so it's best to avoid the combination completely.