1st Degree DWI/DUI:
1st Degree DWI/DUI is a Felony offense and is punishable up to 7 years in prison and/or $14,000 fine. It is charged when a person has three “prior impaired driving conviction” or “prior impaired driving-related loss of license” and was 1) driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance; or 2) driving with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of over 0.08; or if you have been convicted of a prior Felony DWI or Felony Criminal Vehicular Operation causing injury or death.
If this is your fourth DWI offense in 10 years, the mandatory minimum sentence is 180 days in jail, 30 of which must be served in custody and the remaining 150 which can be served on electronic home monitoring. If it is your fifth DWI offense in 10 years, the mandatory minimum sentence is 365 days in jail, 60 of which must be served in custody and the remaining that may be served on electronic home monitoring. Both require 30 days of electronic alcohol monitoring for each year you are on probation.
If you are charged with a 1st Degree DWI/DUI, you will likely have your license suspended, your license plates will be impounded, and it is possible that your car will be seized and potentially forfeited. This means that you will have to get special plates (whiskey plates) on your vehicle and the arresting agency may keep your vehicle until the forfeiture is determined.
The only way to drive is to participate in the ignition interlock program.
You have 60 days from the date of receiving the Notice of Revocation to file a petition to challenge the revocation of your license. If you do not challenge the revocation, you will automatically have an “impaired driving conviction” that can be used to enhance future DWI/DUI offenses. If you challenge your driver’s license revocation, you will be able to have a hearing and a judge will determine whether the Commission of Public Safety had cause to revoke your license. In some counties, you may be able to get your license back while your criminal and revocation cases are pending.
For the seizure and potential forfeit of your vehicle, you have 60 days to challenge the forfeiture. If this is your third DWI offense in 10 years, you must challenge you driver’s license revocation and your forfeiture. If you do not challenge your driver’s license revocation the “driving-related loss of license” can be used by the State to substantiate the forfeiture of your vehicle. If you do not challenge the forfeiture within the 60 days, you will lose any right to challenge the forfeiture, even if you win your criminal case.