You went to a summer barbeque with friends and had a drink or two, but now you’re stopped on the side of the road with flashing red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror. What should you do?
Being pulled over for a DUI is a sobering experience. Instead of panicking, I recommend following these 6 steps to take if you’re pulled over for a DUI.
1 Be Considerate, But Careful
Most likely you will be recorded, so it’s a good idea to cooperate with the law enforcement officer to avoid further charges. That being said, you have the right to refuse the field sobriety test if you choose to, because there’s a good chance you’re going to be arrested anyway. I would use caution with the way you respond to the officer’s questions though. Don’t admit to anything because it can obviously be used against you.
2 Ask To Speak to Your Lawyer
After being arrested for a DUI, a good Phoenix DUI lawyer can make the difference between a conviction and dismissal of the charges, so ask to speak to a lawyer right away. A good lawyer costs money, but a DUI charge is serious business, so it’s a good idea to pony up for one to help get your charges lessened if possible.
3 Don’t Refuse the Blood Test
If you are asked to take a blood test to determine your blood alcohol level, don’t refuse it because doing so could cost you your driver’s license. Even if you refuse, law enforcement will usually get it anyway by obtaining a court order. The results of the test will be sent by mail and depending on what they say, your driver’s license may be suspended for up to 90 days.
4 Plead Your Case
Your case may not necessarily go to trial if you can plead out successfully, but it depends on your case and circumstances. Depending on what state you live in, you could have jail time anywhere between 24 hours and 45 days. If you have had multiple DUI offenses, the penalties are obviously more severe.
There’s a chance you may be allowed to serve home “jail” time for part of your sentence, or maybe even the entire sentence, if you’re convicted. House arrest could greatly reduce the amount of actual jail time you serve.
5 Take Rehabilitation
There’s also a possibility you might be ordered to take some rehabilitation courses if you are convicted. Once you have completed these, you may be able to get your driver’s license reinstated.
6 Forced BAC levels
Another penalty you might face is having an ignition interlock system placed on your vehicle. This is a device that forces you to check your blood alcohol level before allowing you to start your car. If your BAC is too high because you have been drinking, your vehicle won’t start.
As you can see, getting a DUI can cost you a lot of money, as well as possibly even causing you to lose your job. Of course, avoiding it altogether by having a designated driver or taking a cab is the best option. But if you need to hire a lawyer, get a good one who’s worth the money.
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