Drinking and Driving: What to Do When The Worst Happens

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Police car emergency lighting fixtures switched on. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a night out, you may decide to drive after drinking. You might feel fine, but when the red and blue lights start flashing behind you, you are worried. The officer will ask if you’ve been drinking, and admitting alcohol use generally results in a breathalyzer test determining how intoxicated you are. Even if results are below the legal limit, some states have laws allowing impaired driving charges to be issued. There are things you can do to protect yourself and your future if you’re arrested.

Admit Nothing

After talking, the officer will decide to give you sobriety tests determining whether you’re sober or not. At this point, you should stay as silent as you can. Don’t be rude or disrespectful, but try to remain silent. Complete the officer’s actions as best you can. If he requests a breathalyzer, don’t refuse. Many states consider breathalyzer refusal as an automatic DUI charge.

Cooperate Fully

If you’re arrested, don’t make a scene. You will draw more flies with honey than vinegar. Once you’re booked, you’ll need to call someone to bail you out and pick you up. The officer may have had your car impounded or you might need to make arrangements to pick it up.

Call a Lawyer

You’re probably wondering: is a dui a misdemeanor? It depends on the state you’re in. Most of the time, DUI charges are misdemeanors, but there are circumstances resulting in felony charges. If you’ve had earlier DUI offenses or your blood alcohol level was very high, you’re probably facing a felony charge. If you had an accident or if children were in the car, a felony charge can occur. An attorney can find out what charges you’re facing.

Consult a lawyer as soon as possible. A good DUI attorney can make all the difference. Lawyers that specialize in DUI cases are more experienced in DUI law. They know how to dispute test results and protect your ability to drive. Court systems are a world of their own, and your attorney will know the likely reaction and sentencing from the judge. He or she will be able to tell you the best course of action to take.

After Trial

After trial, you will face driving restrictions. License suspension can range from 30 to 90 days or longer, depending on your case. You may have to fight to keep your privileges to drive.

The best way to avoid a post-DUI catastrophe is to call a cab or choose a designated driver. If you’re facing a DUI, use these tips to protect yourself and your future.


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