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You know drinking and driving is a bad move. Unfortunately, you made a mistake—and now you’re dealing with the consequences. What happens the first time you get a DUI? What is the punishment for your first DUI? What do those consequences really look like? By knowing what to expect, you can better prepare yourself for what’s ahead.

Here is What Happens the First Time You Get a DUI:

Potential Penalties

In most states, a first DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor, even if there were no other aggravating factors involved in the incident. An accident, especially one which led to significant injury or loss of life to another person, can result in additional criminal charges and can significantly increase the penalties* associated with your DUI. Additional criminal charges may be lodged against you and your penalties may also increase if you had an open container of alcohol in the car or if you were traveling with a child at the time of your DUI offense. In general, however, you can expect:


Many DUIs come along with fines, often high ones. Fines will depend on and beset by your state law and sometimes within the discretion of the sentencing judge presiding over your criminal case; however, they may be as high as $500 or more for your first offense.

License suspension

Generally, your driver’s license may be suspended for a period of time following the disposition of your DUI case. First offenses may begin at 90 days of license suspension, or you may receive a license suspension of six months or more, depending on the circumstances and the laws of the state in which the offense occurred. Even with a driver’s license suspension, in some cases, you may be able to show a hardship exception to be approved to allow you to drive to and from work during this suspension period, especially if you have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle.

Jail time

Jail time could result from even your first DUI charge. In some states, you may end up in jail for up to six months even for a first offense, depending on what happened during your DUI offense.


Probation may significantly limit your movements and activities during the period immediately following your DUI. You may have to check in with a probation officer, avoid places where alcohol is served, or avoid individuals known to engage in illegal activities during this time.

Other Effects of a DUI

After a DUI, your car insurance rate may increase substantially—or you may have trouble getting or maintaining car insurance. Since a conviction for DUI will go on your criminal record, you may have difficulty securing employment in certain areas where driving for an employer is job-related. You may also be denied payment for your damage repair expenses by your car insurance company (depending on your policy’s coverage exclusions) after a DUI-related accident.

If you were wondering what happens the first time you get a DUI, we hope we have provided all the information you need. Dealing with the aftermath of a DUI is difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our ignition interlock devices are reliable, discreet, and easy to use allowing you to more effectively deal with the consequences of your first DUI. Contact us today to learn more.


*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. RoadGuard Interlock did not create nor develop and does not own any such third-party websites. RoadGuard Interlock does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in any such third-party website links. RoadGuard Interlock is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction, or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.