You’ve had a great night out to dinner with friends, but are you ok to drive home? Most states have DUI laws of around 0.08 BAC, which is only a few drinks. This means if you’ve had a few glasses of wine at a restaurant, you can easily be over the limit.
Getting a DUI is something that can happen to anyone, but it’s certainly a frightening process. Do you know what to do after a DUI?
Should you ever find yourself under arrest for drinking and driving, here are a few tips that can help you look after yourself.
From the moment you see the police lights in your rearview mirror to being handcuffed and taken into the station, getting a DUI can be terrifying. It’s normal to feel angry, scared, and confused, but try your best to stay calm throughout the ordeal.
If you raise your voice or get upset with the officers, they might add additional charges to your arrest, which you don’t want. But, if you’re polite and respectful to the arresting officers, this can go a long way.
Sometimes, a DUI happens after a car accident. If you’ve been involved in an accident, always seek medical care right away and then contact your auto insurer to report the accident.
Get Home Safely
After you get pulled over for a DUI, you’re likely to get taken to the police station for additional breath testing—if you’re still over the limit, you’ll then be booked and formally charged.
This process can take hours, so try to stay patient. In the meantime, your car would’ve been left at the site of the arrest or possibly towed away from the road.
After you’re released by the police, you can’t drive yourself home, since you’re still under the influence of alcohol. Call a loved one or friend to come to pick you up, or book a cab.
If your car was towed, the police will get you instructions on how it can be picked up.
In more severe cases of driving under the influence, your license might be suspended. This could be permanent or temporary, but you’ll be legally unable to drive until this is reinstated.
Make Notes of the Accident
As soon as possible, sit down and make notes from the accident. This can be extremely helpful when it comes to your defense, if the case has to go to court. Most DUI lawyers will need these details to get the best results for your case.
Include all the details you remember, particularly what the arresting officer said or did. Sometimes, DUI cases can be thrown out on a technicality if an officer didn’t follow proper procedures.
If there were any witnesses to the arrest, it’s good to gather their contact details. They can be useful to contact if your case goes to trial.
Contact a Lawyer
Most drivers involved in a DUI can benefit from hiring an attorney. There are many talented lawyers out there who specialize in DUI offenses and can work with you to get the best results.
Drinking and driving laws can be confusing, with severe penalties even for first-time offenders. Don’t try to navigate it all on your own, as a lawyer will work with you to come up with a defense and help you to avoid harsh punishments.
Once you find the right firm, it helps to know what questions to ask your lawyer. Make sure you understand what charges you’re facing, the lawyer’s fees, and what you can expect from your court appearance.
Your lawyer may bill hourly or will charge a flat fee for their services, but make sure you find a lawyer who fits within your budget.
Prepare for Your Day in Court
It can be intimidating facing court for your DUI charge. However, your lawyer will talk you through the process and let you know how things will go.
The court appearance will probably be over before you know it. The judge will read the charges, ask you how you plead, and then will let you know the outcome.
When it comes to your court date, this will be set by the court and isn’t subject to change. You’ll want to make yourself available on the date, even if it means missing work or arranging childcare.
Carry Yourself With Professionalism and Respect
When you’re in court, or engaging with the officers, always be respectful and honest. The judge is going to ask you questions on what happened the night of the DUI arrest, so always answer truthfully.
Perjury in the court is against the law, but also, judges see DUI cases day in, day out and are good at figuring out if someone is lying. Often, being honest and showing remorse for your actions is the best way to behave in court.
If you’re not happy with your outcome in court, remember that appeals might be an option.
Learn What to Do After a DUI With This Advice
We hope you’ll never need these tips! But now that you know what to do after a DUI, remember this advice in case you ever find yourself in that position.
Everyone makes mistakes, so if you do get a DUI, it’s not the end of the world. Try to see it as a learning opportunity, helping you grow into a more responsible person.
In the future, calling a cab or crashing on a friend’s couch is always the safest option, even if it’s not the most convenient.
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