The way a DUI can affect your privilege to drive ultimately depends on the state where it happened. Some states might permit you to appeal the charge while others will immediately revoke your license and invalidate it. In the former, the regulations of each state offer a specific window of opportunity in which you can fight for your appeal, which is usually a month. If you miss this opportunity, the privilege will be revoked and your license is suspended. There are ten other facts that must be considered for those looking for more information about getting arrested for a DUI.
1. The police might immediately revoke your license when you are arrested.
As previously stated, some states will immediately forbid you from driving legally by taking away your license. You can have it returned to you depending on what the judge rules after the hearing and sentencing period. Sometimes, guilty parties need to wait at least 90 days before they can get their license back, but other situations may allow for a limited license so you can drive to and from work only. Once it’s time to get your license back, you might be subject to fines before you can take it.
2. The DMV immediately knows about the arrest.
There are very few states in which the police will not immediately tell the DMV about the arrest, so prepare for that. This will affect your license and will often mean that you’ll face a major increase in insurance rates or even a drop from coverage. Keep in mind that a DUI conviction keeps with you forever as well, even long after you have received your license back. This means future employers and auto insurance companies can find it when they look up your record. For example, if you’re going to apply for a job as a delivery driver, the employer will ask about your history. Because it’s on there forever, you can’t lie about your DUI. This means you might not get the job as well.
3. It’s possible to decline a sobriety test.
These are the tests that police will make you do to verify whether you’re sober or should not be driving. For instance, you might need to recite the alphabet backwards, close your eyes and touch your nose or walk in a straight line. You don’t absolutely have to do this, but some states may have consequences for doing so. Additionally, the court can use your refusal against you. You might also be taken by the police for a different test. Know that some states may suspend your license regardless if you do not submit to chemical tests, such as urine, breath or blood. If you are required by the state to do it, then you will want to submit rather than refuse. Even if you do not live in the state you’re pulled over in, you can still have your license revoked from your state.
4. You will need to provide a chemical test with reasonable cause.
If you do not submit to this test, as previously stated, you might automatically lose your license for a year. You might be able to choose the test that you can take, however, since breathalyzers do not always have the best accuracy.
5. You may have a choice regarding which chemical test you take.
Breathalyzers can give off false readings depending on what you have taken lately, so you can ask for a blood or urine test. The former is the more accurate of the two, but it requires having some drawn.
6. The police must prove you are intoxicated.
This is why you need to take a chemical test; the police need to remove any reasonable doubt that you are too intoxicated to drive, which is done by examining your breathalyzer reading or the chemicals within your blood. If you confess to being drunk, this will also be used against you as evidence; it’s always best to keep silent so you do not say anything that can be used against you. Having an attorney is also a good idea if you do not want to lose the ability to drive. He can help you fight for the right to keep your license and assist you in your court case. Know that the results of a DMV case differs from the DUI case, but one affects the other and your overall ability to keep driving. You will definitely want to challenge the suspension since the worst that could happen is it doesn’t work. Your attorney can dispute the result of a breathalyzer test as well; for instance, antacids make the reading higher than it really is.
7. Your arrest may lead to prison time.
The exact circumstances will dictate what your penalties are for a DUI, but most instances will include suspending your license and fines. It may also lead to some prison time.
8. This may qualify as a misdemeanor or even a felony.
Naturally, when you’re charged with a misdemeanor, it carries less serious consequences than a felony offense. The charge you receive depends on just how much alcohol you have in your system as well as whether you injured someone or otherwise caused an accident while driving while drunk.
9. Second and third offenses are more severe:
The more times you have been arrested for a DUI, the more severe the consequences. You’ll pay more, you’ll lose your license for longer, and you’ll be in prison for longer. Remember that DUIs remain on your record indefinitely unlike other types of traffic violations.
10. You might spend time in prison before the hearing.
The police are not obligated to allow you to post bail or arraign you immediately. They may instead keep you in their watch for a period of time. They do need to do this in a reasonable period according to the law, but this means you might spend up to 72 hours in prison before you are permitted to post the bail for your release.
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