If you’ve been convicted of your first DUI, you may feel a sense of anxiety. What are your legal options? What should you do now?

DUI is far from uncommon in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 2020, there were 18,883 DUI arrests in Kentucky. This accounted for 6.4% of all arrests in the state. Of those convicted of a DUI in 2021, 63.9% were convicted of a first offense.

Luckily, most people who are convicted of a DUI go on to live completely normal and happy lives. They can move forward after a single DUI conviction, unlike more serious offenses.

Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Louisville 

Even though DUIs are common, there are consequences if you are convicted. The penalties for a straightforward first DUI conviction in Louisville may include:

  • A fine between $200 – $500
  • 2-30 days in jail 
  • A 90-day substance abuse program
  • A suspended license for 30 – 120 days
  • 48 hours – 30 days of community labor 

If there are aggravating circumstances then you may face enhanced circumstances, even though it’s your first offense. Aggravating circumstances may include excessive speeding, having a high amount of alcohol in your system at the time of an arrest, or a minor under 12 years old in the car. 

Your Louisville DUI lawyer will explain the exact punishment that will apply depending on the facts of your case.

Comply With All Court Orders

After you’ve been convicted, you’ll need to do everything that the judge orders. If you don’t, there may be additional consequences. Make sure that you pay any fines and fees, complete your substance abuse program, and don’t drive if your license is suspended.

It’s normal to forget everything that the judge orders in court. If you are confused about what you need to do, get back in touch with your lawyer. They can help you navigate the post-DUI conviction process to make sure you complete all the requirements.

Get Your License Back 

Once your DUI suspension period is over, you should take the steps to get your license back. This is called reinstatement. It is controlled by the DMV instead of the court. 

The good news is that if you have complied with the court orders, you have probably done most of what is necessary to get your license back. This includes: 

  • Paying your fines
  • Serving all jail time
  • Completing the alcohol abuse class
  • Waiting for the suspension period to end
  • Installing an ignition interlock (if applicable in your case)

You will also pay a $40 reinstatement fee directly to the DMV. Luckily, you won’t need to retake the driving test as long as the suspension period is less than a year. 

Avoid Getting a Second DUI

You should avoid getting a second DUI conviction. While most first DUIs are straightforward, subsequent offenses are more complicated. They have increased penalties, including more jail time, and the judge is less likely to be lenient in your case.

For example, a second DUI within five years of the first DUI conviction is punishable by:

  • A $350 – $500 fine
  • 7 days – 6 months in jail
  • 10 days – 6 months of community labor
  • A 1-year alcohol treatment program
  • A 12 – 18 month driver’s license suspension 

A third DUI within five years has even stricter penalties, and a fourth DUI within five years is a felony

Keep Things in Perspective and Get Advice From an Attorney

While you should take your DUI conviction seriously, you should also keep it in perspective. A DUI first offense is a misdemeanor that will not have the same collateral consequences as a felony. It is one of the most common types of convictions, affecting people from all walks of life. 

Everyone makes mistakes, but you don’t need to dwell on the past. Just do what the judge orders, listen to your lawyer, and stay out of trouble. This is the best thing you can do to move forward.

Contact the Louisville DUI Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

For more information, contact the DUI attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (502) 371-7000 or visit us at our Louisville law office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers
214 S Clay St A
Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 371-7000