Sunday, July 21, 2024

Penalties for Criminal Offense of Driving While Impaired

Penalties for Criminal Offense of Driving While Impaired

The penalties for driving while impaired tend to be less harsh than the penalties for driving while under the influence or driving while intoxicated. The penalties for driving while impaired do vary depending upon the state. In most cases the offense for a first time offender is considered a misdemeanor.

For example, a first offense in Colorado is considered a misdemeanor that carries a mandatory sentence of 2 days in jail with up to 180 days imprisonment in county jail, a fine of up to $500, and up to 48 hours of public service. However, in Colorado the court has the option to suspend the mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment if the presentence or post-sentence alcohol and drug evaluation is performed and all financial obligations are completed.

A defendant that has prior convictions for alcohol related offenses will face more severe penalties in most jurisdictions. For example, in Michigan a third offense within a 10 year period is considered a felony. A third offense will result in a fine of $500 to $5,000 and either a one year to five year imprisonment or probation with imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 30 days. In addition to the jail or prison time, a defendant must perform community service, complete a rehabilitation program, and suffer a license revocation or forfeiture.

The sentence for a conviction of driving while impaired can be very severe. If you have been charged with driving while impaired you should immediately consult an experienced criminal law attorney. An experienced attorney can advise you on how to proceed in order to best protect your legal rights.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

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