What to Do When You Get a DUI: The Only Guide You Need
Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes have side effects and consequences that linger further into your future than others.
Such is the case with getting arrested for driving under the influence. Having a few drinks clouds your better judgment and can lead to a huge setback for your life.
Whatever your reasoning for getting behind the wheel, it happened. You got caught.
Now you have to figure out what you’re going to do and how you’re going to approach this entire thing.
Here are several steps on what to do when you get a DUI that will help you on your way to getting back on track.
1. Be Cooperative
So, you got behind the wheel while driving drunk and a cop pulled you over. Now all you can do is be as cooperative as possible with the officer.
No matter how intoxicated you are, never argue or question a police officer’s statements. Take his instructions as law (because they are) and do exactly as they say.
The realization is that no matter how impaired you are in your current state, you became a threat to everyone’s life on the road with you.
Understand that, own it, and work with the officer. Answer their questions to the best of your ability. You do have the right to refuse a field sobriety test. However, if you do, it almost certainly means you’ll be arrested.
You might be eligible for nondisclosure. Read more now to get a better sense of what that looks like.
2. Write Down as Much as Possible
The inevitable DUI case that will follow your incident is all about using as many details as you can provide.
Because of that, it’s vitally important that you remember as many details about being pulled over as possible. Depending on how intoxicated you are, you may remember very little about it the day after it happens.
To try and combat that, write down as much as you possibly can after you’re stopped.
Jot down all the details that you’re aware of such as where you were stopped, what time you were pulled over, and what reason the officer gave for pulling you over.
Then jot down a few minor details such as whether or not they used a breath test, what you said to the officer and any other tests they had you perform.
3. Be Patient
If you’re charged with driving under the influence, the police officer that charged you is legally inclined to take you to the police station in their patrol unit.
Assuming this is your first time receiving a DUI, you’ll go through an elaborate process of fingerprints, mug shots, interviews, etc. Remember to be patient and do everything they ask of you.
There will come a point where you’ll be asked if you’d like to contact an attorney if you believe to have been falsely accused of the DUI.
4. Comply with the Chemical Test
One stage of the DUI process that most people don’t know about is the chemical test that they’ll have you perform.
It’s a requirement under the law of most states and therefore is punishable if you refuse to do so.
If you refused to do the field sobriety tests then you’ll need to take the chemical test for the officers to see your blood alcohol level. Be sure to be cooperative, ask for instructions, and do just as they say.
5. Hire an Experienced DUI Attorney
The court case that follows will be a lengthy one with many twists and turns along the way. As such, you’ll need to prepare yourself by hiring an experienced DUI attorney that will see your case through to the end.
Don’t get it twisted… you don’t just want an experienced attorney, you want to hire an experienced DUI attorney.
Doing so will give you the best chance of your case reaching an outcome that works out best in your side of things.
The opposing party will have years of legal experience on their side, you can’t possibly hope to beat them at their own field of expertise without a DUI attorney.
6. Exercise Your Right to a DMV Hearing
One of the biggest setbacks to receiving a DUI will be having your license suspended.
There’s only one way to try and prevent that from happening: a DMV happening. But it’s up to you to request one, otherwise, the license will automatically be suspended.
After your arrest, you only have a certain amount of days to request one. Make sure you do so that you and your attorney can lobby for keeping your driver’s license.
7. Prepare for any Outcome
There are several different things that can come from your DUI court case.
The court may require that you complete a certain amount of hours with community service, a court referral program, fines, jail time, addiction treatment, etc.
It’s best to prepare yourself for any scenario. Your Attorney will do their best to prepare you ahead of time and lobby for the best outcome possible, but readying yourself for the worst will help you see the positive of any sentence you receive.
What to Do When You Get a DUI: Trust the Process
The best answer to what to do when you get a DUI is to trust the process.
Comply with every law enforcement official you come into contact with, know your rights, and depend on your attorney to help you work things out.
Be sure to read our other articles that pertain to both this topic and other topics that are just like it.