The term “double or nothing” generally comes from gambling. For instance, a person may bet $100 on a single hand of a card game. Then they lose that hand, meaning they’re supposed to pay $100.
But then they may ask if they can go double or nothing. If they win the second hand, it is as if they have never lost and they don’t have to pay anything. But if they lose again, then they have to pay twice as much as they would have otherwise.
In South Dakota and some other states, this general tactic is sometimes used with drunk driving charges and other criminal offenses. It is known as a suspended imposition.
How does it work?
Essentially, it works very similarly to the gambling process noted above, with the clear difference being that you have more control over your own actions. You may be able to use the suspended imposition if this is the first offense you’ve ever had and you don’t expect you’ll have another one in your life. Some people describe this as saying that the “first one is free.”
However, if you get the same charge again, then it doubles the penalties that time around. This means it is extremely risky to drive under the influence a second time if you’ve already been stopped for it once.
Is it a good idea?
As noted above, the key benefit here is that you’re not gambling with random chance. If you never drive after consuming alcohol or other drugs again, then it is impossible for you to be convicted on drunk driving charges.
So, if you think what happened was a fluke and you’re never going to run into that situation a second time, a suspended imposition may be beneficial. But you just have to know that taking it on means you really have to be conscious of your actions in the future so that you don’t double the consequences if you get arrested a second time.
Exploring your options
This helps to show you just why it’s so important to explore all of your options when facing criminal charges or allegations of driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances.