If you've recently been charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence, or DWI) then it's vital that you find out as much as you can. Here you'll be able to find critical information such as attorneys, tips, terms, legal strategies, and DUI information you need to know..
I just got a DUI! What should I do:
- Fill out our DUI checklist to get down the facts before you forget them.
- Review the laws, fines and penalties for your state.
- Think about getting an attorney
- Contact the DMV about your license within 10 days
- review your insurance
- look through our site and get familiar with all the various dui information
DUI Arrest - What Happens? Important
A DUI arrest typically occurs as part of a traffic stop. If, after you perform some preliminary field sobriety tests, the officer has reason to believe you are DUI you will be asked to submit to a blood alcohol content test. The most common of these tests is the breathalyzer test that measures the BAC by having you blow into a device. This test isn’t as accurate as blood or urine tests, which may also be administered. While breath test readings are immediately available, blood or urine samples are usually sent to a laboratory for analysis and the results come back in a few days.
In most jurisdictions your driver’s license will be taken and a suspension will be put into place until your court case is resolved. You may be able to drive for a short period of time, typically about ten days. After the DUI tests have been completed you will be booked. If this is your first DUI or if the DUI did not involve an accident with injuries or property damage, you may be released. The case will then be reviewed by the local prosecutor’s office for formal charges to be determined. An arraignment, also called a first hearing, will be held within two days to provide you with formal charges. If you are being held in jail, bond will be set as part of this hearing.
Your driver’s license is administered by the state’s department of motor vehicles division. The status of your driving privileges are maintained through this department and are separate from your DUI court case. Many times your license will be automatically suspended by the DMV until the case is resolved in court. In order to keep your driving privileges for this period of time you will need to request a formal DMV hearing. This must be requested within a specific period of time after your arrest, usually a period of ten days. Failure to request a hearing will result in the automatic suspension of your license during the interim period.
You or your attorney may request the DMV hearing. Your attorney will be able to present reasons why you should maintain your driving privileges. For example, if this is your first DUI, if you are employed, if you have a family, and if you are an otherwise upstanding citizen you may be able to get special authorization to drive. Sometimes you may be allowed to drive on a restricted basis. In some states you must request a hardship license that will allow you to drive during certain hours of the day or to and from work or school.