Oh no. You see those recognizable red and blue lights flashing behind you, and you know you’ve had too much to drink. When the police officer comes up, they’re going to know that you’re drinking and driving.
Do you know what to do when you get a DUI? There are specific steps you can take to make the process go more smoothly and get back on the road again.
Here’s what you need to know.
Get Bail & a Ride Home
When you’re arrested for a DUI, it’s unlikely that you’ll spend much time in jail right away. You can generally arrange for bail and a ride home. You may be released right after booking, or you might have to stay overnight and sober up.
Getting home is your first priority, and remember that your license is likely suspended and your car impounded, so don’t drive! Once you’re home, you can make the rest of your plan for what to do after a DUI.
Focus on Your Court Date
The next essential step is to make a note of your court date. Under no circumstances do you want to forget about it or lose the notice.
Make sure you arrange to have the day off work and that you have no conflicting appointments. You may need a ride to court as well, so make sure you have the right arrangements in place. If you’re working with a DUI lawyer, make sure they know the date as well.
Hire an Attorney
If you’ve never navigated the court system before, it can be very intimidating. Having an attorney by your side is extremely helpful, even if you think the case is cut-and-dry. A good DUI defense attorney may be able to come up with defense options you haven’t thought of.
If you plan to plead guilty, it may still be helpful to have a DUI attorney to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Ask for a Hardship License
You’re going to need to be able to drive in order to go to work or school. You can ask the court to grant you a hardship license that will allow you limited driving privileges. It may require an interlock device or something similar.
If you have a temporary license, you will also need to get auto insurance and an SR-22 filing. This filing is a guarantee from the insurance company that you have the minimum required limits or better.
Attend Required Classes & Pay Fees
If you are found guilty at your court hearing, you’ll have to pay significant fines and attend DUI and alcohol education classes. There are different classes depending on if it’s your first DUI charge or a subsequent one.
Make sure that you meet all of these obligations — if you don’t you could face jail time.
On top of your fines, you’ll have to pay for the DUI classes. If you have an interlock installed on your car, you buy that as well. And that’s on top of more expensive insurance!
Getting a DUI isn’t cheap, but when you meet your obligations you’ll be able to get your license back and get back on the road to safe driving and better choices.
What to Do When You Get a DUI
Now you know what to do when you get a DUI. It’s a long and expensive process, but with time and patience, you can come through it and move forward.
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