7 Things that Add to Drunk Driving Penalties

7 Things that Add to Drunk Driving Penalties

The cost of drunk driving is undoubtedly high; however there are a number of factors that can be taken into account to turn being caught into an even more costly procedure.

Certain circumstances dictate that a DUI or drunken driving charge can be even stiffer, simply because the driver creates an even greater threat to public safety. This can mean stiffer and harsher sentencing and may mean longer suspensions, higher fines or even jail time in some cases.

Of course, the levels and these enhancements differ from country to country, though they are generally the same. So, let’s look at the things that can further lengthen or add to a driving sentence.

Prior Convictions

Repeat offenders generally receive higher sentences, fines or penalties than those who have been caught just once. Prior convictions may be struck off with time, though there is an increased movement towards previous convictions being taken into account, no matter how long ago.

Blood Alcohol Concentration

The level of the alcohol in the blood at the time of arrest is something that also greatly determines the level of punishment. The limit in most countries is between a small glass of wine and almost a full pint of beer and is quite easy to go over. However, harsher punishments are often given to those who have far higher levels than this.

Someone using a breathalyzer

Someone using a breathalyzer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Refusal to be Tested

If you refuse to be tested this can lead to severe action and even higher penalties than if you took the test and failed it. The fact you are refusing to be tested is seen as a refusal and often means that your licence is taken away immediately and may even result in a period in jail. It’s a sure fire way to add to a drink driving penalty and is a harshly treated driving offence.


If you are caught over the influence in some countries and have a child in the car, you will be given a larger penalty. Such an action is deemed extremely irresponsible, even if it’s your child and enhancements can be increased depending on the child’s age in some areas.


If you end up damaging property or causing bodily injury while intoxicated then you can expect your sentence to be enhanced. You will also have to pay for such factors through your car insurance.

No Valid Driving Licence

Driving a car drunk with no valid driving licence is a certainty to add to the penalty. This may be even worse if you are driving on a ban, where your licence is taken away.

Open Alcohol

Having an open alcohol container in a car will add to your driving penalty and increase the sentence or fine that needs to be paid.

Cormac Reynolds is a guest blogger and writes this article for Motor Barrister Direct. He has written a wide number of articles in the auto area.

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