We would never encourage people to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, but unfortunately people still choose to do it sometimes, perhaps believing that they have not had that much to drink, or simply because they make a bad choice. If you are behind the wheel and your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit, you risk being pulled over for driving under the influence, commonly known as DUI. It’s a frightening and eye-opening experience for anyone, and if it happens to you, be sure you take these three important steps.
1: Call a DUI Attorney
You might understandably be worried about the cost of hiring an attorney to help with DUI, especially given that you are facing significant fines and fees, but the costs of not hiring a lawyer can actually be a lot higher. An attorney who has experience working with DUI cases can investigate to see if there might be a way to get your charges reduced, or perhaps dismissed entirely, and they will be in your corner the whole time to make sure you’re not being abused by the system and your rights are protected.
2: Pay Attention to Timelines and Deadlines
The legal system can seem confusing, but it’s important that you pay close attention to the timelines and deadlines for taking certain steps following your DUI charges. If you are ordered to appear in court, work with the clerks to make sure you know what day and time it’s scheduled, arrive early, and follow the advice of your attorney during any and all legal proceedings. If you have fines or fees that must be paid, or you are ordered to attend any classes or groups, pay them or attend them in a timely manner. It’s also a good idea to check that the courts have a mailing address where you will receive mail, especially if you’re in college or have recently moved—missing a court summons or other important piece of paperwork because your mail is not coming to the correct address could result in a warrant for your arrest, and could quickly land you in jail.
3: Check the Status of Your Driver’s License
In many cases the court has the authority to suspend or revoke your license for a period of time following a DUI, usually between 6 and 12 months. If yours is suspended, it’s critical that you find other transportation alternatives in the meantime and do not violate the order by driving without a license. Once the suspension or revocation period is over, there will be a process that you must go through to get it reinstated, but that could take another month or more, so it’s a good idea to get started early.
It’s always best to find a designated driver, call a cab or an Uber, walk, or find some other way home besides driving under the influence. If you do make the mistake of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and you get caught, make sure you get an experienced DUI attorney in Payson to help.