A first DUI conviction usually does not result in jail time. Some judges do put offenders in jail for a first DUI offense. Sometimes, when there are aggravating factors, such as the conviction of other previous offenses, or the specific conduct of the offense (such as whether there was an accident involved) could make jail time more likely. When an accident involves bodily injury or worse, then the penalties and severity of the charged offenses become much worse.
A DUI first offense can carry 5 days to one year of jail, a fine of up to $1,000, community service of 48 to 96 years, and up to two years of probation. The jail time can be suspended as a condition of the probation term. The judge can also order that you be monitored for sobriety. The judge will likely order you to attend classes and therapy. There are other potential orders that need to be complied with; this is not a complete list of all of the components of a typical sentence. Also, these requirements change all the time, and there may be more severe penalties than what is discussed here.
The penalties change somewhat when the blood alcohol or breath alcohol content from the blood or breath test is equal to or more than 0.20. In such a case, at least ten days of jail or a jail-substitute such as work release, in-home detention, or a similar program is required. In Douglas and Arapahoe Counties, for example, it is typical for DUI with a B.A.C. over .20 to carry a sentence of in-home detention instead of straight jail.
A DUI also carries driver’s license consequences, which can include a straight revocation of driving privileges and a requirement to have an interlock device installed for two years in some situations. The driver’s license hearing process may require you to take immediate action in your case. If you find yourself charged with your first offense of DUI, you should contact an attorney to discuss your case immediately.