What to Expect in Your DUI Arrest
Those flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror are never a welcomed sight, especially if you have been drinking. Just remember, a police officer has to have a justifiable reason to pull you over, and can usually find one. Some include: rolling through a stop sign, speeding, failing to use traffic signals. Many times a person who has been drinking, or suspected of it, may get stopped by the police due to crossing over the center or white lines. This counts even when crossed over the slightest bit.
Don't openly admit that you have been drinking, yet don't try to deny it when the officer asks you, especially when you know what you have consumed and if he can detect it on you. Even if you are not legally drunk, yet have been drinking, you will automatically be more anxious. States all across the country are cracking down on drunk drivers, so your best bet for the least infractions is to be polite and agreeable.
Sobriety Testing on the Scene
Field sobriety tests may be given to help measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). More commonly, if their is strong suspicion or smell of alcohol on the driver, you may be asked to perform a breathalyzer, possibly right from the driver's seat of your car. Currently, all 50 states, the law is that you are considered to be over your legal BAC at 0.08 percent (0.08 g alcohol per 100 ml blood). Once again, cooperation is the key to a possibly lesser charge. This is not a sure fact, but has seemed to prove true in many cases.
The Arrest & Booking
After the stop and any field sobriety testing, next comes the arrest when the suspect is in police custody and will then be taken to the police station for further testing and questioning. You will normally give your driver's license and keys to the arresting officer. Remember that once you are placed under arrest, being uncooperative can result in further charges and stiffer penalties. Voluntary submission and your full cooperation can only help keep the charges you are about to face to a minimum.
Booking is the process of recording the arrest at the police station. You will be fingerprinted, photographed, asked to answer questions, and possibly searched. In most cases you may be released after booking, provided someone comes to pick you up.
If you are arrested for a DUI, it is a good idea to learn more about the laws of your state.
The Day After
Get a lawyer! This should be the first thing on your list the next morning after a DUI arrest conviction. Even if this is your first DUI, it is probably best to consult an attorney to have them handle your case. DUI laws and penalties vary from state to state. It generally may cost from around several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, depending on the specific case.
Trial and Sentencing
Now, your lawyer can talk you through the process of what will happen during your hearing and sentencing, based on their knowledge of the laws for their state and your conviction records.
Other possible consequences include: Driver’s license can be suspended or revoked; Expensive fines, such as impoundment fees, outrageous insurance rates, court costs, attorney’s fees, and the installation of an ignition interlock device if ordered; Possible probation and/or jail time; Community service; Alcohol education classes.
Depending on whether or not other people, property, vehicles, or accidents are involved with your conviction will also make a difference in stricter penalties and charges. Some people may face the possibility of job loss, especially those who drive as part of their employment.