This site uses cookies.

Law 101 – DUI Offenses that Can Get You in Jail

Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.

As you may know, when you are being charged with a DUI, you are seen as innocent until you’re proven guilty of your crime. When and if guilt is found, you will have to face the consequences – which can range from a simple fine to significant time in jail.


There are numerous DUI offenses that, when managed without an experienced DUI lawyer, can get you in jail. As such, in the following lines, we’ll take a look at the things you should avoid doing if you want to keep your freedom!


The Basics


One of the very first things that you should be aware of is the fact that, in all of America’s states, the very first DUI is considered a misdemeanor and is, therefore, punishable by jail – up to six months.


Depending on the circumstances of your first DUI, that six-month period may be extended. Let’s find out more!


  • As mentioned, first-time DUIs can end spending up to six months in jail for their offense – this is the basic/common punishment.


  • Then, the authorities will also take a look at your blood alcohol concentration when deciding the punishment. For example, keep in mind that the legal limit is .08% and, if you’re caught with high levels, such as .15 or .20, you may face even more jail time.


  • Furthermore, regardless of the circumstances of your first offense, you may still have to spend a couple of days in jail. This is because some states feature a minimum jail sentence for those that are on their first offense. 


  • If you’re not on your first offense, then you may experience jail sentences of up to an entire year.


  • Last but not least, there may be cases when your DUI will be labeled as a felony – when someone gets injured or killed. However, you may still be charged as a felon when caught DUI simply because you’re on your third or fourth offense! In such cases, the driver is likely to face up to several years in prison, depending on state laws.


Usual Punishments


There are also states that feature alternatives when it comes to punishments. For example, one may have to frequent some prevention or alcohol treatment programs, instead of going to jail.


On the other hand, when it comes to young offenders, DUI offenses are likely to be dealt with accordingly by the law – meaning that the age of the offenders won’t have any influence on the sentence and, in fact, may make it even worse.


On top of that, some states instituted a BAC limit for young drivers as well. For example, while adults have to keep their level under the standard 0.8, young drivers must not go above 0.2 if they want to avoid a DUI.


The Bottom Line


It goes without saying that you should do your best to avoid driving under the influence, as not to put your life at risk.


Moreover, it is also very helpful to know the laws of your state – for both adult and young drivers – so that you are not caught off guard by the authorities. In fact, if you do your research and know the DUI laws and the punishments for DUI charges, you’ll probably never feel like driving while intoxicated!

All information on this site was believed to be correct by the relevant authors at the time of writing. All content is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No liability is accepted by either the publisher or the author(s) for any errors or omissions (whether negligent or not) that it may contain. 

The opinions expressed in the articles are the authors' own, not those of Law Brief Publishing Ltd, and are not necessarily commensurate with general legal or medico-legal expert consensus of opinion and/or literature. Any medical content is not exhaustive but at a level for the non-medical reader to understand. 

Professional advice should always be obtained before applying any information to particular circumstances.

Excerpts from judgments and statutes are Crown copyright. Any Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of OPSI and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland under the Open Government Licence.