DUI Arrests: What to Know if You Were Arrested for DUI
If you find yourself charged with a DUI or ‘driving under the influence’, you need to be ready to defend yourself in a situation that can prove to be very expensive for you. Irrespective of whether you were arrested for drinking and driving or being under the influence of drugs, the damage you incur is ultimately what the legal system will address.
Being charged with a DUI can have negative consequences on your life; however, you need to keep in mind that being charged is not the same as being convicted. To avoid a conviction, you will need a good lawyer to convince the judge or jury to rule in your favor.
- You should never refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood test. Any failure to cooperate with a field sobriety test can lead to a suspension of your license, even before your official hearing.
- If you are a first time offender, then your DUI is treated as a misdemeanor and can land you in jail for a period up to six months. The period can be increased if your Blood Alcohol level, also known as BAC was particularly high, say between .18% to .20% in a place where the limit is .8%. Repeat offenses will lead to longer jail times – from several months to up to a year at least.
- Your immediate experience upon being caught drinking and driving is a trip to the nearest jail where you may be held for some time. While some places will allow you to leave should someone come and bail you out, depending on the local rules and regulations, you could find yourself held for some time without bail.
- When you are arrested, you will be handed a summons informing you when you will have to appear in court to hear your case. It is important to keep in mind that should you plead innocent in a situation where you were guilty, you may find yourself having to see a video of how you performed during the field sobriety test from the arresting officer’s dash-cam or even your behavior while arrested at the police station.
- One difficulty you will have to deal with is the loss of your driving license. Even first-time offenders will find that their driving licenses are suspended for some time. Even in situations where you are allowed to drive after your license is revoked or suspended, you will find that your driving privileges are far more limited.
- Aside from paying a fine or serving jail time, another possible scenario you may experience is being on probation. The terms of the probation are decided upon by the sentencing judge, and any failure to comply with it can lead to jail time. In addition to this, you will have to pay an amount that goes into maintaining and supervising your probation sentence.
- After serving your sentence, you will have to go to a Drunk Driving School, the fees for which you will provide yourself. Here, you are evaluated on preventing DUI scenarios for the future and educated on alcohol and drug use.
Finally, you will have to undergo an evaluation of your alcohol and drug habits while also having to pay higher insurance for your vehicle before you can finally resume driving with a license again. Some places even encourage the use of ignition interlock devices, which do not allow a vehicle even to start should the driver fail the installed breathalyzer test. The entire ordeal of dealing with a DUI arrest is expensive, time-consuming and energy draining and it may be a while before you can resume driving normally again.
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