First Misdemeanor DUI. BAC .08.


You have been arrested for your First DUI.  You blew, and your breath alcohol content (BAC) was over a .08 but not over a .20.  The charge has left you scared, lost, anxious, and don’t know where to turn.  Before you do anything else, read about what to expect with your first misdemeanor DUI.

Possible Penalties

The first thing you want to know is what is the worst that can happen to you.  Incarceration is first and foremost in your mind.  


First, we should discuss the elephant in the room, Jail!  Jail is the scariest part of a DUI case.  For a first-time misdemeanor DUI case, with a BAC .08-.20, the maximum possible jail you can face is 180 days.

Minimum Jail

That is the bad news.  The good news is that most people, especially if you do not have any criminal history, do not go to jail for 180 days.  There is no minimum jail sentence for a first misdemeanor DUI.

Jail Options

The good news is that you may qualify for “options” to serve your jail time.  These options are also known as alternative sentencing.  These options can include community service, sheriff’s inmate labor detail, work release, weekends, and in some instances home confinement.


Of course, the court’s want their money.  So the next issue is how much can they get from you?  For a first misdemeanor DUI, the maximum possible fine is $1,000.  


The Courts may also order you to pay restitution, which has no maximum.  If there was an accident involved, the court could order you to pay for the damages.  If there was a blood draw, the court could order you to reimburse the county for the procedure.

Payment Plans

If you cannot pay the full amount of fines and restitution, the court can work out a payment plan with you.  Fortunately, this plan will usually be spread out over your period of probation.


If the court does not sentence you to the maximum possible jail sentence, then they will likely because they suspended the sentence.  A suspended sentence means that the court will keep open a penalty that it can later impose.  It would only impose that sentence if you violated the court orders.  The court will place you on probation.

Probation is a period that the court keeps your case.  As long as you complete that time without violating the court’s terms, then you do not need to worry.  If you break the rules, then the court can impose some of or all of the suspended sentence.  This violation is called a probation violation.

License Suspension

Besides jail, the license suspension can be the most overwhelming part of the sentence.  For a first misdemeanor DUI, the license suspension is 180 days maximum.  The minimum suspension is 90 days.  Only 30 days are absolute.  Absolute means you cannot drive at all.  After the absolute suspension, you can apply for a work permit.  Most courts will impose the entire 180-day suspension.

Alcohol Evaluation

The Court will order you to complete an alcohol evaluation.  They will generally order this after you enter a plea, and before your sentencing hearing.  The court uses the assessment to determine how severe your alcohol addiction is.  Consequently, the worse the habit, the more hours of treatment you will be ordered to complete.


The evaluation will have a recommendation for a certain level of alcohol treatment.  The type of treatment varies from 8 hours of an outpatient treatment class to months in inpatient treatment.

Victim’s Panel

In addition to the treatment the court orders you to do, it will also order you to complete a “Victim’s Panel.”  This panel is a one night class where the state will educate you on the impact that driving under the influence has on victims of the crime.

What you should do

Since this is your first misdemeanor DUI, you probably wonder what you should do.  You have never been through this process before, and you are lost.  That is why the first thing you should do is call an attorney.  An attorney goes through this process every day.  An attorney can be your guide, your legal counselor, and your protector.  

If you believe that our office is the right fit for you, call us today.  Our top-rated DUI Attorneys can help you solve this crisis you have found yourself in.