A DUI/DWI (Driving Under Influence/Driving While Intoxicated) is a serious driving offense resulting in significant financial and legal penalties. While the purpose of this article is not to provide free legal advice, it will give an overview of the general procedures and possible outcomes of receiving a DUI/DWI ticket or being involved in a DUI/DWI accident.
Legal counsel will be state-specific, and it is preferable to seek it from a knowledgeable lawyer with DUI/DWI matters in your area. Depending on how experienced your DUI/DWI lawyer is, you might be able to have your case dismissed completely or have your sentence reduced if you are convicted. It is possible to determine if the arresting officer violated your rights and followed protocol by consulting an attorney.
When You Get Pulled over by a Police Officer for DUI
If an officer has reason to believe there is an issue, he or she may stop you from investigating and ensuring you are not driving while intoxicated. You may have swerved to dodge a pothole or taken your eyes off the road for a fraction of a second to change the radio station and wove over the double yellow line in some circumstances. Regardless of the circumstances, an officer must pull you over and administer a series of tests to safeguard your safety and the safety of other drivers.
Field Sobriety DUI Tests
Field Sobriety Tests were the first series of tests developed to evaluate your coordination and balance. The Horizontal Eye Test, the Walk and Turn Test, and the One Leg Stand are the three tests. In each of these tests, sober people will be able to pass without any problems.
While they do not provide the officer with a particular blood alcohol level, they allow the officer to assess your driving abilities. Some people, such as the elderly or those with physical disabilities, will not execute these tests. Thus an officer will rely on the Breathalyzer to make an arrest judgment.
Horizontal Eye Test by Policeman for Drinking and Driving
During the Horizontal Eye Check, the officer will ask you to adhere to his/her finger using only your eyes and stagnating your entire head. This exercise will not cause abnormal eye jerking in a sober individual (assuming no physical or age impairments), but it will cause abnormal eye jerking in an intoxicated person. The officer will shine a light into your eyes and check pupil dilation based on his findings.
Walk and Turn DUI Test
The Walk and Turn will be the next test. The officer must request this test on a flat area, and you must demonstrate the ability to walk nine heel-to-toe steps before turning around and returning to the officer. This test should not be performed if the road surface is not flat and the officer cannot draw a straight line on it for you to follow since the outcome will be slanted in favor of your arrest.
One-Leg Stand Drinking and Driving Test
One-Leg Stands require a level surface as well. You will be asked to stand on one leg with both hands at your sides for a short length of time before switching legs. It’s critical to run all of these tests because a physical or age disability could bias one or more results.
You will be requested to undergo the Breathalyzer test if the officer feels you are inebriated based on these tests. The Breathalyzer will take your breath and calculate your blood alcohol level. If your blood alcohol level is 0.08 or greater in any state but only 0.02 if you are under the age of twenty-one, you are deemed legally intoxicated. You will be read your rights and arrested if you fail the field sobriety tests and the Breathalyzer. A person must post bail to release you, and you need to wait for a court date to be sentenced until they post bail.
Legal Order of Proceedings Involving DUI Tickets:
1. Preliminary Hearing 2. Arraignment 3. Trial by Jury
After your arrest, you will be granted a Preliminary Hearing date so that a judge can assess your case and decide if the evidence against you is sufficient. The evidence against you isn’t enough in most cases, so the next court date is for your arraignment. You will hear all of the allegations against you and be asked to enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty” during the arraignment.
Seek an Experienced DUI Lawyer
You must retain the services of an expert DUI lawyer to assist you in navigating the legal process and determining the seriousness of the allegations leveled against you. If you believe you are innocent and refuse to accept the options presented during your arraignment, you may request a jury trial, depending on the facts of your case.
Requesting a jury trial might be difficult because witnesses and experts will be asked to testify both for and against you. If you select this path, your attorney should have sufficient DUI experience to help you lessen your sentence or have your case dismissed entirely.
Effects of a Driving under the Influence
Being issued a DUI ticket can have profound implications, which will rise in severity based on how many comparable offenses you’ve had and whether your violation involves a DUI accident. A DUI ticket will remain on your permanent driving record forever, but a DUI death will be treated as manslaughter, which is a felony.
Penalty for driving drunk is primarily state details, although the adhering to are generally consisted of in your sentence:
1. Fines: Each state will certainly differ in the buck quantity of your ticket. In Texas, a new offender might pay up to $2000; repeat wrongdoers might face penalties of approximately $4000. In Florida, first-time culprits undergo a maximum $500 fine, and repeat offenders might pay up to $1000.
2. License Suspension: Most states will suspend your license for up to one year for the very first offense, and also states such as Connecticut will certainly withdraw your consent after the 3rd offense. It may be possible to get a Conditional License for commuting to work, yet this is conditional on your case.
3. Adding Points to Your License: This will inevitably raise your insurance coverage premium for a period of time determined by the individual business.
4. Drug Programs/Classes: Most states will need a twelve-hour DUI education and learning training course for new culprits. Repeat wrongdoers punished to parole might likewise be called for to finish a 30-day drug rehabilitation program.
5. Community Service: Your sentence may require that you perform community service. Some states, such as Texas, placed a restriction on the variety of hours required. Along with the mandatory fifty hrs of service, Florida provides the alternative of paying 10 dollars for each extra hr needed to please the sentence.
6. Some states currently use an ignition interlock device that requires the driver to breathe into the gadget before beginning the vehicle. Failing this Breathalyzer will secure the ignition in your automobile, and also you will certainly be incapable of driving it for a duration of twenty-four hrs.
If you have valuable assets such as your home or stocks and bonds, you should seek expert asset protection for your estate and belongings in addition to hiring a DUI lawyer. An accident caused by drinking and driving can result in legal liability and, as a result, a significant financial loss for you and your family. Contact Estate Street Partners, a certified attorney and estate planner specializing in asset preservation.