Find Out What Happens When You Are Arrested For Drunk Driving
Contrary to what many people think after you are arrested for drunk driving, going to the DUI court is the first step in DUI proceedings. Here is what happens when police arrest a motorist for drinking and driving.
If you get arrested for drinking and driving, you might be wondering what happens next and what you should do to mitigate the issue. Also, if this is not your first DUI arrest, you may find that things have changed a little since the last time you got arrested.
The consequences and penalties of drinking and driving vary from state to state. However, there are efforts, from groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, that have lobbied all 50 states to pass laws with increased penalties and consequences. Here’s what you can expect after being arrested for Dui and a few law tips that might help you avoid stiff penalties.
Step 1: DUI Court
Before the judge determines your case, you are still innocent until proven guilty. However, if you took a breath test that shows your alcohol levels are beyond .08, chances are high you will be convicted for DUI, DWI (driving while intoxicated) or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). All these are euphemisms of driving while drunk, various states use.
It does not matter whether, at the time of the arrest, you were not staggering or slurring your words, if your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) was above .08, all states take it that you were legally drunk. Even if the arresting officer issued you with a field sobriety test during the time of the arrest and you passed it, the court will still find you guilty of a DUI with a BAC above .08. Your best play here is to talk to your lawyer and cooperate with the authorities.
On the other hand, if you only received a field sobriety test and passed it, chances of getting convicted for a DUI are slim. The field sobriety test is the go-to tactic of how to spot a drunk driver that authorities used. If you pass it, then proving you were intoxicated behind the wheel is quite hard, unless further evidence is presented to the court.
Step 2: Consequences
Once a court finds you guilty of DUI, the consequences vary depending on the weight of the situation. In most states, you are ordered to pay a fine, court fees and the court revokes your driving license for some time. However, some states recently introduced mandatory jail time for all DUI offenders. It applies to even first-time offenders.
The amount of the fine, court fees, jail time and period of license revocation varies from state to state. However, be prepared to pay the fine and lose your license in all states. There is also a high likelihood that the court will order you to perform some community service. Therefore, you have to pay a probation fee and meet all the terms of your probation.
Step 3: Getting Your License Back
The fines, license revocation and jail time are just a few of the consequences of being found guilty of a DUI. If you want to get your license back and the privilege of driving yourself around, you have to work for it.
Most states will require you to attend a special school, known as DUI school. The requirements for graduating from the school vary greatly based on the initial assessment from a counselor. The counselor will first of all interview you to find out if you have an alcohol problem.
If the evaluation shows you have a drinking problem, you have to attend the driving classes about dangers of driving while impaired and also seek treatment for the drinking problem before you can graduate from school.
After graduating from the school, you can expect the authorities to outfit your car with an ignition interlock device. With the gadget in place, your car cannot start up if it detects alcohol in your breath.
Maggie Casey is a defense attorney who specializes in DUI. She has helped well over a dozen clients beat DUI charges. When she is not litigating in court, Casey writes posts blogs that help people manage DUI charges and know how to spot a drunk driver.