First Offense DWI: What Are the Penalties?

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a very serious offense, and can have a lasting impact on the life of the accused, even if the accused is a first time offender. Although first offense DWI charges are less severe than subsequent DWIs, the consequences can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest. For example, if the alleged crime involved excessive driver impairment, or if the incident resulted in serious injuries, the resulting consequences may be severe indeed. That said, even a seemingly minor first offense can result in costly fines, jail time, and a drivers’ license revocation.

If you are facing DWI charges, make sure you understand the potential penalties if you are convicted. In most cases, the penalties for a first offense DWI will be as follows:

  • Misdemeanor criminal charges

  • Between $500 and $1,000 in fines

  • No more than 1 year in jail

  • Driver's license revocation for at least 6 months

However, these consequences may grow if the charges occurred under more serious circumstances.

When a DWI Charge Becomes More Serious

A first offense DWI can result in more serious consequences if the driver is caught with an especially high blood alcohol content. The legal limit is 0.08%, and a driver with a higher BAC can face DWI charges, but if the driver’s BAC is 0.18% or higher, they can face Aggravated DWI charges. Aggravated DWI charges are more serious, and can result in more extensive fines, and a driver’s license revocation for up to 1 year, rather than 6 months.

A driver might also face more serious consequences if they are driving with a BAC above the legal limit with a minor in their vehicle.

By learning of the potential consequences, you’ll be better prepared to fight for your rights when your charges first arise. At O’Brien & Eggleston PLLC, we’re committed to helping those accused of DWI, and we’re here to help whether you’re facing your first DWI or fifth.

Ready to get started? Call (518) 240-9992 today to discuss your first offense DWI with our attorneys at O’Brien & Eggleston PLLC.