The laws governing drinking and driving have changed substantially in the last decade. This crime is perceived as inherently dangerous and worthy of a prosecutor’s (and judge’s) attention.
There are actually two legal consequences you can suffer when you are facing charges of this nature. The first is that you will have to go to court to face traffic violations which carry possible fines and jail time. You can also be placed on probation, which may require you to be supervised by a probation officer. In addition, when you are placed on probation, you can be required to have an ignition interlock device on your car, abstain from all alcohol and drugs, perform community service, attend treatment and you may not be able to leave the state without permission from the Court.
The second possible consequence is an administrative one. It is likely you will be facing some type of suspension of your driving privileges. The length of that suspension depends on whether you refused to take the breath test or, if you agreed to take the breath test, the result of that test. In some situations, you may get permission to drive to school and work during that suspension. Also, it is possible to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle to avoid a suspension but that carries its own problems to consider.
There are things you can do to mitigate those consequences; the most important of which is being evaluated and treated for any potential alcohol issues. But you need to act fast. Some decisions about your administrative sanctions need to be made within ten days of the stop. The reality is that these are serious charges with serious consequences. If you are charged with DWI, it is important to consult with an attorney quickly. Charges like this can be beat but it is important to speak with someone who is experienced in handling matters like this.