Driving under the influence is when you get impaired by alcohol or drugs in a way you cannot operate a vehicle or moving machine. It is a federal offense to get caught driving while under the influence. Unfortunately, you may get caught while DUI, and when that happens, you need to be aware of your legal options.
According to the national highway traffic safety administration, about 1.5 million people get caught while DUI annually from the influence of alcohol or drugs. These statistics show that it is likely to get caught while DUI at one point or another. This post will see what happens once you get caught DUI and what you can do.
What happens when you get pulled over drunk.
So, you happen to be driving going back home after a party or from work. Ahead of you, you see traffic police officers, and they pull you over. You just had a drink or two, and everything seems to be normal until you are told to get out of the car and take a breath test.
When this happens, it is advisable to follow the police officer’s instructions. They will ask you to take a field sobriety test which you need to comply with to avoid complicating the issue. The test can be either a one-leg stand test, walk and run test, or horizontal gaze nystagmus test. If you are under the influence, you will be arrested, your car will be towed, and you will be sent to the nearest police station for booking.
Get a legal defense lawyer.
The first thing you should do once you are allowed to make a phone call from the police station is to contact your lawyer. Depending on your region and state, you can look at the best legal defense lawyers and contact them. If you are based in the clear lake region you can contact a legal defense in clear lake attorney.
Lawyers protect you from harassment and advice you about the legal options available to you. A good lawyer will fight your case and negotiate a deal. If you are a first-time offender, a legal defense lawyer can get the charges dropped, and you might end up not having a DUI on your driving record.
There are certain levels of alcohol percentages that should be in your bloodstream for you to be considered DUI. In most states, it’s 0.8% or higher. Lawyers help you understand if your blood alcohol content was within limits. However, we are not advocating for drunk driving as it is illegal and harmful to your health and life-threatening to you and others.
Penalties for a first-time offender.
There is a first-time event for everything. First-time offenders for DUI where no injuries or damage to property can get lenient punishments, although this varies depending on the state.
Some of the most common penalties you could face are: paying a fine, having your license suspended, a few days in jail, being sent to an alcohol treatment program, or probation. A legal defense attorney helps you get the most minor punishment and can even get the charges dropped, especially if you are a first-time offender.
Penalty where there is loss of life or severe injury.
In situations where there might be a severe injury or loss of life to pedestrians or passengers. The case can be elevated to felony drunk driving, and it carries harsher penalties such as years in jail. If you happen to get someone killed, you can get charged with felony vehicular manslaughter, which is a serious criminal offense and can lead to life imprisonment.
DUI is a crime, and you should not drink and drive to avoid getting yourself into legal matters. Simple cases can escalate and become very complicated, and that is why you need to contact a legal defense lawyer to advise you about the law and represent you in court.