People who drink and drive repeatedly are going to eventually catch the attention of cops. Two of the first casualties of drinking alcohol are caution and judgment. Thus, most people tend to think they’re perfectly fine to drive their vehicle home. Since alcohol can impair your driving and judgment, you’re more likely to drive erratically. When you get caught for erratic driving, you could be facing a first offense DUI arrest.

What Happens During A DUI Stop

When you’re pulled over, the first thing the cop will ask is if you’ve been drinking…especially if he/she smells the aroma of alcohol coming from your breath. It doesn’t matter if you give them an answer or decide to remain silent, the cop will ask you to take the breathalyzer test. If a reading of 0.08 percent or more is shown, you will be arrested for drinking and driving. If you refuse to take the test, you’ll still be arrested.

Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Crimes and Punishment

There is a huge difference in a felony crime and a misdemeanor crime in terms of punishment. If this is your DUI arrest, you’re liable to be charged with a misdemeanor… provided there was no bodily injury or property damage. If you get a lighter sentence, you’ll avoid jail time and be placed on probation if you’re found guilty. Some judges do give jail time, usually no more than a year. You will be responsible for fines and may lose your license for an extended period of time. It’s also possible the judge will order you to an alcohol treatment program to get the drinking under control.

Keep in mind that first offense DUIs are typically treated as a misdemeanor case. However, there will be times that your misdemeanor case becomes a felony. For example, if your drinking and driving caused injuries or death, you’ll be charged with a felony. Felony convictions will “net” you a prison sentence of at least a year. Most states have laws that have mandatory sentences that may not be reduced. If you kill someone from your drinking and driving, prosecutors will charge you with either a homicide or vehicular manslaughter.

You will also be charged with a felony if a child is in the vehicle with you or you were found to be speeding. If you’re BAC is also extremely high, you’re likely to be charged with a DUI felony. Some people who have been caught drinking and driving had a BAC of 0.73 percent or higher. When a person has a BAC of this level or more, they most certainly cannot operate a vehicle. They are not only a danger to themselves but to everyone else on the road too.

Felony Convictions and Your Life

Be aware that any felony offense you get will negatively affect your life in many ways. For example, employers may refuse to hire you and banks may refuse to do business with you. It doesn’t matter what the crime was and how long ago the crime took place.