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Driving While Intoxicated

All states have enacted laws prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle while the driver is intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or a drug. Under pressure from various organizations, state laws are becoming tougher on those arrested and convicted for driving while intoxicated.

Typically, first offenders are jailed for a period of hours, bailed out and later appear in court where the judge imposes a fine. Repeat offenders receive harsher penalties, including suspension of their driver's license and a period of incarceration in the county jail. After two or more convictions, further offenses are converted into felonies punishable by prison time. Additionally, a first offense is a felony crime in some states where a child is present in the vehicle at the time of intoxication, or where the operator causes the death of another person while driving.