Will I Have to Serve Jail Time for my DUI/DWI?

Factors that can come into play in determining whether you'll go to jail for a drunk driving conviction.

Question

Under what circumstances will a DUI conviction lead to jail time?

Answer

Whether a DUI conviction will lead to jail depends on a number of circumstances. In most states, jail time isn't mandatory for a standard first DUI conviction where no one was injured or killed. However, a number of states require one or more days jail for a second or subsequent DUI offense. And even where jail time isn't required by law, judges almost always have the option of sentencing a motorist convicted of driving under the influence to serve time in jail.

In determining the appropriateness of a jail sentence, a judge might consider factors like the defendant's blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the defendant's criminal record, how the defendant was driving, whether there were kids in the car, and whether there was an accident.

(Read about the specifics of your state's DUI/DWI laws.)

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