Conviction is a law term that indicates a court has found a person guilty of the charges brought against him. A DUI conviction results from charges of driving under the influence. Every state and the District of Columbia has laws that make it illegal to drive while under the influence of intoxicating substances.
State governments have the authority to set a maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) level for those who operate vehicles. When a person is caught driving with a BAC above that limit, he can be arrested and tried for violating the state’s drunk driving laws. If he is found guilty of those charges, he will have a DUI conviction.
Alcohol is not the only substance that can result in a DUI conviction. It is also generally illegal to drive while intoxicated by chemical substances. This can include both legal and illegal drugs. Test results usually weigh heavily in such cases. Although limits are not generally specified for chemical substances, there are tests that can confirm their presence in a person’s system.
A DUI conviction can carry numerous consequences. Penalties vary from one jurisdiction to another. Generally, there is a risk of incarceration and probation for a first offense and mandatory incarceration for multiple convictions. Fines and the payment of court costs are commonly ordered. It is also likely that a DUI conviction will result in some period of driver’s license suspension.
There are a number of other actions that a court may order. People are often ordered to perform community service. The vehicles they drove while under the influence may be impounded. Furthermore, those who appear to have substance abuse problems may be ordered into treatment programs.
The classification of a DUI conviction is determined by each state. Some states classify such crimes as misdemeanors but they can be upgraded to felonies if certain circumstances apply. Things that may make the classification more severe include injuring another individual while driving under the influence or having multiple previous convictions.
A DUI conviction can affect a person’s employment. This can be the case when a person has a position that involves driving. Since his driver’s license is likely to be suspended, he is unlikely to be able to perform his duties. Some jurisdictions may offer special permits that allow a person to effectively continue working. These may not be available everywhere, however, and they may only be available in certain circumstances.