In any given year in the United States, around 1.5 million people receive a DUI charge. If this sounds like a lot, it’s because there are many different types of DUI, all ranging in terms of scale, scope, and severity.
If you are involved in a DUI, either as a victim or perpetrator, it is vital that you know exactly the type of DUI that is being charged. There are several kinds of DUI charges, some more common than others. With that in mind, here are the five most common DUI charges that you need to be aware of.
- First DUI
This one is pretty simple to understand but encompasses many different types of charges. In a nutshell, it is when someone is charged with their first-ever DUI offense. This means that they are usually being charged with a DUI misdemeanor.
However, it may not be classed as a misdemeanor if the consequences of the DUI involve significant damage or injury. The punishments tend to be light in the case of a first DUI and may not involve any jail time at all.
When assessing DUI vs DWI, it is important to note than any case classed as DWI will often have more severe penalties, even if it is your first DWI and no damage occurred.
- Multiple DUI
This typically works on a sliding scale and, depending on the state you are in, can encompass a large number of repeat DUIs. Typically, if you receive a second or third DUI, then you will be charged with a multiple DUI offense.
Typically, if your last DUI happened within 10 years of your most recent one, then you will be charged with multiple DUI. The penalties for this are often much more severe and will nearly always include license suspension and a vehicle tracking order.
- Felony DUI
Depending on the number of DUIs you have received prior, you could be charged with a felony DUI. It is important to know the local state laws surrounding drunk driving, as this will determine whether your DUI is classed as a serious felony.
For example, when looking at DUI charges in Florida, it is important to note that any person receiving their fourth DUI will be charged with a felony. This is the case no matter how long ago your third DUI occurred. The sentences for felony DUI will be severe and will almost definitely involve a prison sentence.
- Commercial DUI
If a person is driving a commercial vehicle and is found to under the influence, then the DUI charge information will note that the driver is charged with commercial DUI.
As there are extra dangers attached to commercial driving under the influence, the penalties can be more severe and the blood alcohol threshold will be lower. Anyone charged with commercial DUI can expect to lose their commercial driving license.
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- DUI Manslaughter
Finally, this is when DUI accidents result in loss of life. The person responsible for DUI manslaughter has committed a very serious crime. Therefore, the punishment will be proportionate to the consequences of the reckless behavior that cost human life.
In most states, DUI manslaughter carries a sentence of between 1 and 10 years at a minimum. Extra years or decades can be added depending on the number of people killed or seriously injured.
Learn More About Types of DUI
Now that you know the basics about the types of DUI that law enforcement can charge people with, it’s time to keep learning. In our comprehensive Legal section, you will find a wealth of information on DUI laws across America today. When it comes to the law, you can’t afford to be uneducated.