When you get arrested for drunk driving, it is a stressful time. You are unsure of what will happen and what your future will hold. You are probably concerned about losing your license, paying fines, and facing potential jail time. Luckily, there are some things you can do right away to help prepare for your case.
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When someone is arrested for drunk driving, the police will confiscate their driver’s license. This is important because the information on this license will be used in court to determine if you have a clean record and if they should allow you to drive again.
After you are released from custody, you will be given a pink temporary license and instructed to call the DMV within ten days to have your license reinstated. This can be very confusing for a person that is not familiar with how the process works and is in shock, so it is a good idea to get an attorney involved as soon as possible.
If you are a first-time offender, then you can expect to be charged with a misdemeanor DUI. This is the most common charge for a DUI and carries a minimum fine of $1,000 and up to $2,500 in fines, as well as a license revocation for up to one year.
You will also likely have to attend a probation and/or alcohol education class as part of your sentence. These classes will teach you how to control your behavior and change your habits so that you don’t drink and drive again.
It is best to hire an experienced DUI lawyer as early as possible after you have been arrested and before your arraignment date. Your lawyer will know how to best defend you in court and can help decrease or avoid penalties that may be imposed on you by the prosecutor.
Most states have strict laws regarding driving while intoxicated. These include laws governing the types of signs that indicate intoxication and how an officer can pull you over. Some of these signs are weaving, swerving, running red lights, not following the traffic laws, and other driving behaviors that are considered indicators of intoxication.
The police are on the lookout for these kinds of driving offenses, and they will often make a traffic stop to investigate the situation. They will then ask you to exit your vehicle and administer a number of field sobriety tests to determine if you are intoxicated.
They will then have you take a blood test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your BAC is higher than the legal limit, you are going to be charged with a DUI.
You will also be required to submit to a roadside test, which involves a breathalyzer, eye exam, and field sobriety tests. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, these can take up to an hour.
If you fail the field sobriety test, you are then arrested and brought to the police station. This usually takes a couple of hours, but can take longer if the court is busy or if there is a lot of waiting around.