Did you get a DUI? You’re not alone.

Every year, at least 1 million arrests take place because of DUIs. From fines to possible jail times, DUIs take a toll emotionally and financially.

Getting a DUI is overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of life as you know it. The more you know about how the DUI process works, the easier it’ll be for you to handle whatever comes your way. For those who want to learn how to get their life back on track, we’ve created a short guide to help you handle your DUI. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about how DUIs work.

Basics of Getting a DUI

Getting a DUI can mean that you lose your license, car insurance coverage, and possibly wind up with jail time. To fully understand the process, it helps if you understand the different terms you may be hearing.

DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. DUI specifically means driving under the influence. Finally, if you’re facing an OUI, it means you were operating under the influence.

To get a DUI, DWI, or OUI, you be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can be riding an automobile, golf cart, a TV, or even a bicycle when you get your DUI.

The Night of Your Arrest

A police officer can pull you over for driving suspiciously, or for unrelated traffic offenses. As long as the police officer had reasonable cause or reasonable suspicion, it’s completely within their rights to pull you over.

If you feel the officer didn’t have reasonable cause to pull you over, that’s something you should let your lawyer know. Your lawyer may decide to bring a motion to suppress, and the court could choose to dismiss your case completely.

Once you’re pulled over, if the officer suspects that you’re under the influence, they can request that you take a physical sobriety test. In certain cases, officers will ask that you take a portable breath testing device instead. If you fail the test, you’ll be immediately taken to the police station.

At the Police Station

When you get to the police station, the police officers will likely ask you to take another test. Instead of taking a portable breathalyzer, you’ll be able to take a stationary version of the test. In very rare cases, police officers may request you provide a blood or urine sample.

Should you refuse to take the blood or alcohol test, officers can revoke your license immediately. What happens next, will depend on how your state classifies DUIs.

If your state doesn’t classify a DUI a criminal offense, then it’s not likely that you’ll have to spend the night in jail. When states don’t treat DUIs as criminal offenses, they’re usually treated as traffic violations. As a result, it’s likely you’ll be able to go home the same night you’re pulled over.

However, if a related criminal offense takes place, everything changes. For example, if police officers find drugs in your car, then you might be looking at spending the night in jail. If you hurt someone while you’re driving under the influence, you’ll definitely be spending the night in jail.

Summoned for Court

After you leave the police station, you’ll have to wait for your court date. Once you receive your summons to appear in court, you’ll have a chance to defend yourself. You can choose to plead guilty, or not guilty, depending on the evidence for your specific case.

It’s your right to handle your court appearance on your own. However, we suggest that you have professional legal guidance for every court proceeding. If it’s your first DWI conviction, a strong legal team can help prevent further penalties against you.

In certain cases, a legal team will be able to assist you in entering a plea for reckless driving. Instead of facing the high penalties that come with the DWI, reckless driving has less severe consequences.

Preparing for Embarrassment

As a general rule of thumb, getting a DUI is a fairly embarrassing experience. Your arrest record, and mugshot, are all now available to the public.

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When you’re in court, the prosecutor may be able to provide dashcam footage of your DWI. The footage may also be embarrassing since it will show you behaving under the influence.

Depending on the company you work for, you might also be at risk of losing your job. For example, if you have a job as a driver, it’s likely your company will have a zero-tolerance policy for DWIs.

Financial Impact

Unfortunately, once you’re charged with a DWI, you’ll be facing an overwhelming amount of penalties and fines. To help you prepare, we’ve created a list of the most common expenses.

Here is how a DWI can impact your finances:

Possible job loss
Lawyer fees
State finds
Impound and tow fees
Probation cost
License reinstatement
Increased insurance rates
Drug and alcohol classes
Jail time
Alternative transportation

The financial impacts above apply even if you’re a first-time DWI offender.

All About License Suspensions

Depending on the state you live in, you might have to pay for an ignition interlock device while your case is under review. It’ll be up to you to purchase and install the device before you drive your vehicle.

However, in some cases, you won’t be allowed to drive from the moment of your arrest. For instance, if you refuse to take the breathalyzer, you’re license suspension can be immediate.

If you want to get your license back quickly, you’ll need to deal with an administrative law judge as well as a criminal law judge. To increase your odds of a favorable ruling, never ever drive with a suspended license.

If an officer pulls you over, and you’re driving with a suspended license, you’ll only make things messier, and more expensive.

Patiently Prepare Yourself

Now you have a better idea of what life looks like after getting a DUI. We hope our article was able to teach you at least 1 new thing about how the DUI process works.

If you’re looking for more ways to prepare yourself for the road ahead, we can help. Go ahead and check out the rest of this site.

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