The Surprising Impact of COVID-19 on DUI Cases


The United States has experienced close to 9.5 million COVID-19 cases and a quarter-million deaths. Several people are out of work and dealing with unemployment claims due to lost income.

There’s a lot of uncertainty abound, and it appears that the pandemic is going to be the headline for the next few years. Even in these tumultuous times, we have to take a look at common crimes and penalties and see how this societal shift has affected them.

For instance, how has the pandemic altered driving under the influence (DUI) cases?

Here’s what you should know about DUI cases in a COVID-19 world.

DUI Cases Are on the Rise

The most striking detail you should know is that Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases are certainly on the rise. Even though bars have been closed in a lot of areas, the DUI case numbers keep going up.

Alcohol sales are also up, so perhaps more people coping with the curtain current uncertainty by drinking at times they normally would not. What’s more, people are both out of work and spending more time than ever inside of their homes.

Regardless of the reason, major cities all over the country are experiencing increases in DUI cases. You can verify this for yourself by searching for DUI rates in your local and surrounding area and in court systems all over.

These cases have consistently increased and should be monitored as we continue through this pandemic.

Municipalities Aren’t Putting Out as Many DUI Checkpoints

While cases are up, DUI checkpoints are not being used as frequently throughout the country. Since resources are stretched thin, police officers are serving other needs.

In areas that have been quarantining and dealing with stay-at-home orders, the freeways and main roads experience less traffic. As such, drivers who are operating their vehicles under the influence will inevitably stand out more.

Expect Challenges and Adjustments in Handling the Fallout

So what happens if you get a DUI charge right now?

While this varies depending on where you live, expect major differences than you would contend with under normal circumstances. For example, your statewide Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) branches might be closed or limited to essential business.

Likewise, the court systems where you live might be operating remotely or with reduced hours.

This means that you will need to figure out if a virtual workaround has been implemented for these matters or if you’re going to be handling them mostly by mail and by phone. In some areas, you might have delays or a backlog. In others, switching to virtual court and DMV matters might actually expedite the process.

Either way, you’re going to be dealing with new and different circumstances.

Driving Under the Influence Attorneys Are Still Taking Plenty of Cases

All in all, you still shouldn’t have trouble finding a DUI lawyer to help you with your case. The lawyers that try these cases are still fully operational, though they might be doing virtual consultations as opposed to in-person consultations.

Because they’re still available, you should take it upon yourself to shop around until you find the best DUI attorney to represent you. Ask around for some recommendations and make sure you’re choosing a lawyer that is proven to work hard and get results.

People Should Be Mindful of These Circumstances as COVID-19 Numbers Keep Going Up

COVID-19 cases are going up all over the country. Medical experts assert that we’ll be living with the virus in a large capacity until at least next summer, and likely through the rest of 2021.

As such, DUI cases are a metric that you should keep your eye on as these matters develop. If states begin issuing stay at home orders again, there’s a chance that we could see an even bigger shift in DUI charges.

Stay up to date with the way news develops so that you can respond accordingly.

This is an Expensive Charge That You Should Avoid at All Costs

Your most stark response should be to make sure that you never take the risk of drinking and driving. Aside from it being one of the most catastrophically dangerous activities that you can engage in, it’s also expensive and flat-out not worth the risk.

These cases are expensive to try in court and also come with expensive penalties if you are found guilty. Because of this, you should take it upon yourself to stay home if you’ve been drinking, and make use of rideshare services if you know that you’re planning on having a few.

Many Are Going Through the DUI Program Remotely

People convicted of DUI typically are assigned fines, jail time, and participation in an alcohol abuse program. The DUI program is sometimes offered as part of a plea bargain so that the conviction doesn’t stick.

Many municipalities are offering the DUI program remotely, so it’s still a viable option for people dealing with the aftermath of their case. Make sure that you visit all of your sessions and participate so that you can move past these circumstances.

Get an Understanding of How DUI Cases Are Being Handled

These points show just how DUI cases are on the rise and how the pandemic has brought about some unique circumstances. This is a life issue that you’ll never want to experience.

Be safe, take care of others, and stay tuned to the way that the pandemic is affecting DUI charges and other legal issues.

Put these tips to use and use our site for further research on DUI law.


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