It should go without saying that no one should ever drive drunk, or while under the influence of any intoxicating substances. However, some people do wind up driving drunk regardless, and if they are arrested for it, they can face many potential consequences, even without being convicted. Here are five potential consequences for drunk driving:
- Jail Time: The most obvious potential consequence of a drunk driving arrest is that you could be thrown in jail for your alleged crime. Depending on your circumstances and what crime you are charged with, you might only spend a night or two in jail while you await arraignment, or you could wind up spending all your time awaiting trial in jail. Fortunately, this is less likely due to recent reforms to New York’s criminal procedure laws, but it is still a possibility for more severe offenses.
- Bail: If you are arrested for drunk driving, you may be released on bail. This can either be paid in cash or through a bail bond (essentially a guarantee from a bail bondsman to pay your bail if you cannot). In the case of a bail bond, you only pay 10% of the bail’s value up front, but in either case, it is likely to be costly. Also, while you normally get the money you put up for bail back once your case ends, you may forfeit your bail if you miss a court date or get rearrested.
- License Suspension: If you either fail a field sobriety test or blow a .08 or higher Blood-Alcohol Content (BAC) on a breathalyzer, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum period of six months. The same will happen if you refuse a breathalyzer test when requested by a police officer, even if any charges related to drunk driving are later dropped. Penalties can become even more severe if you have been arrested for drunk driving multiple times, with increased suspension periods and fines for subsequent violations.
- Rehabilitation: Even if you have yet to be convicted of drunk driving, and have not pleaded to drunk driving, you can still be required to go to rehab for alcoholism as a condition of bail. Aside from being time-consuming and onerous, it can also be costly, although most health insurance covers a certain amount of rehabilitation sessions.
- Alcohol Monitoring: For some people convicted of drunk driving offenses, they can be compelled by the court to use certain devices to make sure they do not drive drunk. A common form of this is the ignition interlock system, which is installed in your car and prevents the car’s ignition from starting unless you blow into the built-in breathalyzer and register below the legal limit. Another less common form of alcohol monitoring is an ankle bracelet that measures your sweat to determine if you have consumed alcohol, although this is a measure reserved for the most extreme alcoholics.
If you are charged with a serious traffic-related criminal matter involving driving while impaired, it is important to seek legal representation immediately. The Long Island traffic and criminal defense lawyers at McGuire, Peláez & Bennett, PC are experienced in handling these matters and will fight vigorously on your behalf. For information or to schedule a consultation, contact our Suffolk County traffic lawyers at (631) 348-1702.