Driving while ability impaired, or DWAI, is a traffic infraction that carries some serious penalties. The potential punishments you face get more substantial when you have multiple offenses. A third offense carries the maximum penalties possible. You should know about the penalties for third and subsequent DWAI convictions.
License and Registration Revocation
If you have been convicted of a third DWAI within a decade, then your license is going to be automatically revoked. The law states that it must be revoked for no less than six months. The judge could easily increase this to a year or more if the incident was very serious. Additionally, the judge has the discretion to revoke the registration for your vehicle. If this occurs, then your registration will be revoked for a minimum of 180 days as well.
Third and subsequent convictions carry mandatory fines. You can be ordered to pay a minimum of $750 and a maximum of $1,500 depending on the circumstances. This is unavoidable. You are also going to be required to pay a surcharge of around $400 depending on exactly where the charges are filed in the state.
Possible Time in Jail
You can be sent to jail if you are convicted of DWAI for a third time. The likelihood of going to jail will increase with each subsequent offense after that. You can be placed in jail for up to 180 days. Alternately, you might get no jail time depending on the details of the case.
Driver Responsibility Assessments
Another penalty you will have to face after a third or higher DWAI offense is an annual driver responsibility assessment. The assessment is a monetary fine that you need to pay when convicted of certain traffic offenses. The fine is $250. You must pay this for the next three consecutive years after the conviction in addition to any other penalties or fines. The fee is required even if you do not regain your license.
Rehabilitation for Relicensing
If you want to get your driver’s license back at the end of the revocation period, then a third DWAI offense means you will have to show some evidence of rehabilitation before the possibility is even considered. You will need to attend a licensed substance abuse recovery program and complete it successfully. While not being part of the law, this is almost always required.
Use Ignition Interlock Devices
If you do eventually get a license again, then you are going to go through a probationary period. You will be required to use an ignition interlock device on your vehicle during this time. The device is usually something that tests your breath for alcohol before the car will start. Some also require testing while you are driving. You are required to pay monthly fees for using the ignition interlock device.
Go To a Victim Impact Panel
A final penalty for a third or subsequent DWAI offense is attending a victim impact panel. You might have to attend just one or multiple panels. These sessions involve presentations by law enforcement, experts and victims of DWAI accidents. The panels are designed to show the consequences of driving while impaired.