A DUI on a driver’s record causes years, if not a lifetime, of distress. A first time offender can pay a fine of up to $1300 and have a suspended license for 1 to 3 years. If you’re facing the possibility of your first DUI, here is what could happen to your driving privileges.

DUI laws vary by state. Therefore, the following facts represent general rules about DUI punishments. Educate yourself by reading your state’s laws pertaining to DUIs.

Upon a DUI charge, the arresting officer will take the driver’s license. He will then issue a temporary one that expires on the date of your plea trial. The delay of returning your license depends on the number of past offenses committed by the driver, and the results of the plea hearing.

If you refuse to submit a sample test during your arrest, you automatically lose your license. If you win your plea, you receive your license back. If you skip a plea hearing, your license is automatically suspended.

If you are not convicted, simply pay all fines to receive your license back. If convicted, you have to complete several steps before your license is returned. You must undergo an alcohol and drug rehabilitation evaluation. Successful completion of that graduates you to a DUI and driving course.

Once you completed all court ordered requirements, you can apply for reinstatement of your license. Course and evaluation completions do not guarantee that a court will reestablish your driving rights. If license is reinstated, the court will provide documents to show the DMV.

You could also regain your driving privileges but have to drive with a ignition interlock device. You would have to perform the mandatory breathalyzer tests every time you drive. A 2nd offense could result in at least 30 days of jail time, and 2-5 years of license suspension. Three or more offenses could result in 120 days of jail time, and at least 3 years of license suspension.

You may be able to obtain a hardship license if you can prove to the court that your family is experiencing hardship.

Most car rentals stores refuse to rent cars to anyone with a DUI on their record. However, Enterprise and Dollar both rent to DUI offenders, with provisions. Dollar also makes it cheaper to rent cars with their Groupon coupons.

A DUI can really damage your record and limit some of your privileges, but you can get your life back on track after a DUI. Learn and grow from your mistakes.

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