I’m Attorney Mike Contant. A question I’m often asked is, “How likely is it that I’ll go to jail for a first time drunk driving offense?” And unless it’s something particularly bad, in most cases, the answer is, “Not very likely.”
Now let me tell you what I mean by that. If you caused a serious accident at the time of the drunk driving offense or if you did something particularly egregious, like lead the police in a high speed chase, or if you have a bad criminal record prior to this first offense OUI, it’s possible you might do some jail time.
If It’s The First Criminal Offense…
But for most people where this is the first criminal offense they’ve ever had, or if they have a very minor record, it’s unlikely they’re going to have to go to jail as a result of this case. In most cases, we’re able to get our clients into what they call a first offender program, also referred to as the 24D program.
The First Offender Program
Now, that program involves a number of things. Typically, it looks like this: You’re on probation for about a year. You lose your license for somewhere between 45 days and 90 days. You have to attend a 16-week alcohol education program. Also, there are a lot of fines and fees. For a year of probation, all the fines and fees will amount to about $1380.
As for the alcohol education program I mentioned, you do have to pay for that separately. That’s not included in the amount above. However, once you start this alcohol education program, you can get what they call a hardship license. Some people refer to it as a Cinderella license.
The Cinderella License
This will allow you to drive for 12 hours a day, usually to get to and from work or other necessary appointments. You would have to go to the registry separate from the court to apply for this. But it’s all part of the first offender 24D program.
If you have any questions about any drunk driving issues or for the first offender program, please feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email. I’d be happy to speak with you about it.