If you’ve been stopped for drinking and driving in the “Air Capital of the World,” you’re likely wondering what a DWI or DUI in Wichita, KS means for you. Kansas has harsh penalties for those convicted of drinking and driving, but it’s important to recognize the nuances to the law and how they affect your case. To start with, however, you may wonder what the difference is between a DWI and DUI in Wichita.
DWI vs DUI in Wichita, KS
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) can mean slightly different things throughout America. In Kansas, however, they focus on the term of driving under the influence. Depending on where you’re arrested in a state, authorities may use DWI and DUI interchangeably, but the criminal code in Kansas refers to the act as DUI.
If you’re arrested for a DUI in Wichita, KS, your charge and sentencing will depend on many factors. One of the most important nuances of the law relates to underage and commercial drivers. Most people are arrested and charged if their blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches .08 percent. For commercial drivers, while driving a commercial vehicle, this threshold is .04.
For underage drivers, it’s only .02.
It’s also worth noting that you can be charged with a DUI in Wichita even if your BAC doesn’t exceed legal limits. If a police officer believes you’re unsafe to drive due to alcohol consumption and/or drug use, they can place you under arrest.
DUI Arrest in Wichita
Once you’ve been placed under arrest, there are a few different outcomes you can expect. These can differ considerably based on prior convictions and even prosecutor discretion. A DUI attorney in Wichita, KS may be able to help, but you should still know what you might face.
First DUI Arrest
Your first DUI conviction can result in at least 48 hours behind bars, but you could end up in jail for six months. You may also be given 100 hours community service and a fine between $750 and $1,000. Courts can even sentence you to house arrest.
Second DUI Arrest
After your first conviction for DUI in Wichita, the penalties become more severe. For a second conviction, you will be sentenced to at least 90 days, and this sentence could last up to one year. Your fine will increase to anywhere from $1,250 to $1,750.
While you could be granted probation, this will typically only get you out of jail after serving at least five days. House arrest with a monitoring device is also possible.
Third DUI Conviction
If you’re convicted of a third DUI the punishment can be much more severe as you must serve at least 90 days before being granted probation. Your fine also increases, and you could end up paying $2,500. Unlike prior convictions, though, your third DUI may result in a felony charge if you have a prior conviction in the last 10 years.
Wichita DUI Attorney Defense
In addition to the aforementioned penalties, you could also lose your car and license. Additional fines not related to your criminal case will also occur. It’s important not to let things go this far.
You should seek out legal help after any drunk driving arrest. It’s possible that you could avoid your first conviction by participating in a diversion program, but this is up to the prosecutor. A Wichita DUI lawyer can fight to get you in this program.
If you’re charged with drunk driving, Jonathan McConnell, attorney at law, can help. Your case will be thoroughly reviewed and you’ll be advised on the best course of action. A Wichita, KS DUI conviction can derail your entire life. Few among us can afford this, so contact Jonathan McConnell for help with your case today.