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This Is My First Time Getting a DUI. What Happens Now?

In the summer, more and more people are reaching toward an ice-cold beer to ward off the heat. However, enjoy one beer too many and the police could pull you over for driving under the influence.

Being pulled over and charged with a DUI can be a frightening experience. Many drivers who face their first DUI may wonder what consequences they could face.

A DUI can happen to anyone in California. According to California DMV's most recent statistics, 160,388 people were arrested for a DUI. Even though it happens to a lot of individuals, everyone should take DUI charges seriously.

There are a few things you need to know about the possible penalties of a conviction for a first-time DUI arrest:

  • License suspension: California law mandates that after arrest for a DUI, a driver’s license is automatically suspended for at least four months.
  • Possible jail time: It is not absolute that you will do jail time when facing DUI charges, however it is a real possibility, depending on the severity. First offenders can receive up to six months in jail.
  • Change in your routine: Your schedule may be significantly different after a DUI. You will need to go to an alcohol education and counseling class for 30 hours. Additionally, once you get a DUI, you will need an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This is a breathalyzer installed in your vehicle that requires you to blow a legal level before the ignition will start.
  • Fees: There are more fees involved after getting a DUI than people may originally think. Aside from the $125 fee to have your license reinstated, you may need to pay up to $1000 in fines. This does not include the cost of your counseling program, which can be up to $600.

California takes driving while under the influence very seriously, and there are severe consequences. It is imperative to know what to expect if you are facing your first DUI charges.

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