DUI cases should be avoided by all means. Individuals should absolutely not drink and drive. Individuals should designate a driver or seek alternative forms of transportation. For example, cabs or public transportation, when they consume alcohol at social or public events.
However, this article is not in any way a source of legal information, or a substitute for legal information, neither is it an attempt to advise individuals regarding how to legally fight a DUI. It will only show you, How to Choose the Best Attorney to Hire for a Court Case.
Anyone arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol should consult with an attorney regarding any actions they should take in order to mediate for them in the situation.
The figures regarding the number of individuals who drink alcohol and operate motor vehicles is not much. Although there is a decline over the last few years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): The agency says that:
- Fatalities due to driving under the influence of alcohol have gone down over a long period of time.
- Still, in the United States it is estimated that 28 people die every day due to alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. This is an overall average; some days the figure is high, and on other days, it is very minimal.
- Alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents claim a lot of innocent lives annually.
What to Do if You Are Stopped while under the Influence
In this post, I will repeatedly and strongly suggest that if you have to drink, you should not drive at all. Unfortunately, a large number of individuals do not keep to this advice. However, there are some general rules one should follow if one has been drinking alcohol and is met by a police officer while driving. Here are some important things to do:
- Pull over: Pull over at a safe and open space. Officers have good observance levels, especially, if they suspect that you are drunk. Anything a person does thereafter, goes into the report. Be safe, pull over in a safe spot, and turn off the engine
- Be calm: Do not attempt any suspicious movements. Again, officers are observing everything a person does. Do not make any suspicious movements like trying to hide open anything (alcoholic beverages or drug). The best thing to do is keep your hands on the officer can see them.
- Be polite: Be cooperative and polite. Arguing with the police officer will not help you. If you are hostile, combative, rude, etc., officers will arrest you even if your blood alcohol level is fair and not above the legal limit. On the other hand, do not talk too much.
- Only provide minimal information: Tell the truth. Give the officer your name, driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Do not tell the officer you have been drinking, or how much you have had to drink.
- In most cases, refuse sobriety tests: It is not compulsory to perform a field sobriety test. Although, refusal of may result in your having your license suspended. However, if you are drunk and refuse the test, the only information the police officer has in court is the officer’s subjective interpretation of your behavior at the time.
- Take the tests at the police station: If you refuse field sobriety test, the officer will arrest you and take you to the police station. You are obligated by law in most states to take tests while at the police station. The best-case scenario is to take the breathalyzer test and not take the blood test because attorneys can challenge the reliability of the breathalyzer test in court, but a blood test that reflects that an individual is over the legal limit is pretty much a conviction. In most cases, take the breathalyzer test at the police station.
- Be cooperative at the police station. While at the police station, you will be kept for a short period until you can post bail. Fully co-operate with the officers, and keep to yourself. Thereafter, look for the Best Dui Lawyer available to argue your case.
What to Expect if Arrested For a DUI offence
There are general things to expect if you are guilty of a DUI. For example:
- You will be arrested by the officer who pulled you over. Expect to be arrested, taken to the police station, booked, and placed in jail until you can be bonded out. Typically, individuals are in jail until they sober up and can post bond. In some jurisdictions and depending on the offense, this may require an appearance before a judge. In others, there are standard procedures that allow the officers in the jail to accept bond.
- You will end up in court. Unless there are unusual extenuating circumstances, you will have to make a court appearance and will be required to plead guilty or not guilty to the offense.
- Expect some type of suspension on your driver’s license. In most states, individuals who are convicted of DUI receive some type of suspension on their driver’s license.
- You will pay. Expect fines, attorney fees, court costs, towing fees, storage fees for your car, therapy fees, counseling fees, etc. etc. This is going to cost a large amount of money even if it is a routine arrest. If there is an accident, property damage, or an injury, the expenses can be astronomical.
- There will be jail time. A person arrested for their first DUI will most likely spend at least a few hours in jail. Individuals with prior arrests will certainly spend at least a few hours in jail and most likely will get some form of jail time, community service, house arrest, etc., upon conviction Depending on the outcome of the case, individuals can be incarcerated for a variable length of time. Multiple repeat offenders can expect at least some extended jail time.
- You will most likely be put on probation. If convicted of a DUI offense, you will most likely be put on probation. This incurs even more expense and regular visits to your probation officer. Be prepared to provide your probation officer with proof that you are not drinking or using drugs.
- Some type of educational program or therapy is in your future. Expect to have to attend some type of substance abuse class, get involved in some type of therapy, or provide proof that you are attending 12-Step meetings.
- Expect changes with your auto insurance. Expect your friendly neighborhood auto insurance company to not be your friend any longer. Insurance prices will shoot up, and you may not even be able to get insurance from some companies.
- There is always a record. These days, no matter what, there is always a record of a DUI arrest or conviction somewhere. Even though the conviction is removed from your immediate driving record after several years, a record of it may remain on your permanent driving record. Insurance companies typically look back five years, but there is a record of a conviction forever, even if you are assured that if you comply with probation, it will be removed from your record. There is always documentation somewhere regarding DUI arrests and convictions that can be referenced.
Some Strategies That Attorneys Use to Fight a DUI
Again, this article is not a form of legal advice, and there is no assurance that adopting one of these strategies will work. However, there are some general strategies attorneys often pursue if they can.
- Prove you are not driving. In rare cases, the wrong individual is arrested for a DUI. If the attorney can prove that the individual who was arrested was not actually driving the vehicle, the case is typically dismissed. However, this would require rather unique circumstances.
- Prove the officer did not have grounds to stop the person. A far more sound approach is for the attorney to prove that the officer did not follow the proper legal procedures when detaining the individual. The officer must have a solid reason for stopping an individual in the first place. Sometimes, attorneys can challenge this.
- The credibility of the evidence or of the officer can be challenged. If the officer took a video of the individual, and it appears as if the individual was not swerving on the road, breaking any laws, or did not appear intoxicated, a good attorney might be able get the case dismissed. Sometimes, individuals have medical conditions that make them appear to be intoxicated even if they were not legally intoxicated. This is a strategy that might help. Sometimes, using witnesses who can attest that the individual was not intoxicated can help to question the reliability of chemical tests or sobriety tests.
- Provide objective evidence that the individual was not legally intoxicated. If the attorney can provide objective evidence that the individual was not legally intoxicated at the time of their arrest, they may get the case dismissed. Attorneys have several ways they can approach this, including looking at the results of chemical tests and determining that given the time period that elapsed between the administration of the test and the arrest of the person, the individual’s blood alcohol level could not have been over the legal limit. Again, this requires expertise, and individuals attempting to do this without the use of an attorney would most likely fail.
Every attorney has numerous ways they can use based on the evidence, the specific conditions, and information provided to them by their client. This is why it is essential that an individual records everything they can remember about their arrest as soon as possible.
If it is clear that there will be a conviction or to appeal to the judge, an attorney may often suggest that the individual immediately enroll in a treatment program or therapy, which can be used to objectively demonstrate to the judge that the individual is trying to change their behavior. Sometimes, this can result in a lesser conviction or lesser consequences; however, repeat offenders typically receive less leeway with these tactics.
Do not drink and drive, ever. Resist the temptation of driving under the influence of anything even on presciption.
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