The Dos and Don’ts of DUIs

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( — September 26, 2023) —

When you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you must adhere to laws designed to keep you and other drivers safe. One of the most important is making sure you don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which is commonly known as DUI. Should you find yourself arrested by police and charged with DUI, here is what to do and what not to do as your situation plays out.

What is a DUI?

When you are charged with DUI, this means you are considered to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the point that it impairs your ability to safely operate your motor vehicle. You should also be aware that if you are charged with DUI by police, this can be done even if you are under the influence of perfectly legal drugs, such as prescription medications or over-the-counter meds as well. Also keep in mind that you can be charged with DUI even if your blood alcohol levels are still below the legal limit, based on the arresting officer’s observations and judgement of your level of impairment.

What to Do if You Get a DUI

If you get a DUI, the first thing you should do is not panic. Even though you have been arrested, this does not mean you will necessarily be convicted of the charges filed against you. In fact, there are several steps you should take immediately upon being arrested. Perhaps the most crucial step is to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling DUI cases. In many of these situations, the arresting officer will make mistakes such as failing to read you your Miranda rights, not properly calibrating a breathalyzer prior to having you use it, or use poor judgement when conducting field sobriety tests. By hiring an attorney who has seen these situations before, they can point out discrepancies in court and help you win your case.

What Can Happen When You Get a DUI

Many things can happen when you get a DUI. First, your driver’s license can be suspended for several months or possibly longer. Your car insurance rates can increase significantly or your policy can be cancelled altogether by your insurer, so be prepared for this possibility. If the DUI charges are severe enough, such as if others were injured or killed because of your DUI, you could face jail or even prison time.

What Not to Do

When you’re arrested for DUI, never try to represent yourself in court, since you don’t know the law. Also say very little to police until you have hired an attorney, since your statements can and will be used against you in court. Finally, don’t resist arrest and refuse to take a breathalyzer or field sobriety tests, since this can also be used against you by prosecutors.

By staying as level-headed as possible following a DUI arrest and working with an experienced DUI attorney, you can get your life back to normal as fast as possible.