Getting pulled over for suspected driving under the influence (DUI) can be a scary and stressful situation. For many people, a stop for suspected DUI may be their first experience with law enforcement and being arrested, so it's good to know what to expect. In general, after being pulled over for a DUI you can usually expect the following:
In most cases, you will be asked to submit to a sobriety test when you're stopped for suspected DUI. Field sobriety tests, which involve doing a number of tasks to assess your balance and coordination, are common, but you will most likely also have to submit to either a breathalyzer test or blood test that will measure your blood alcohol content level. Laws vary from state to state, but many states have laws that result in fines or the suspension of your drivers license if you refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood test, so it is usually in your best interest to comply with law enforcement officers on the scene.
If law enforcement officers feel that they have enough evidence to show that you were operating a vehicle while under the influence, you will be charged with DUI and be arrested. You will have to leave your vehicle where you were pulled over, and the law enforcement officers will bring you to the police station. Depending on the situation and your condition, you may only have to stay at the police station until a friend or family member can come pick you up. In some situations, you may be kept in jail overnight until you have sobered up.
In most cases, you will not be required to post bond in order to get released after being charged with a DUI. Upon your release, you will be given notice of your court date-- do not fail to appear in court, as doing so can cause additional legal problems on top of the DUI charge.
Going to Court
After being charged with a DUI, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced DUI attorney, such as those at Pollack & Ball LLC, to represent you in court. A good attorney will be able to gather evidence, build your case, and negotiate on your behalf to either get the charges reduced or a favorable plea agreement. If you are convicted of DUI or plead guilty as part of a plea agreement, the judge will then hand down your sentence. As a first-time DUI offender, your sentence may include fines, mandatory alcohol education classes, having your license suspended, and possible jail time.