The ads are everywhere, especially around big drinking holidays like Fourth of July, St. Patrick’s Day, and New Year’s: don’t drink and drive! Yet a shocking number of people out of the 200 million licensed drivers in the United States admit to having driven while impaired by alcohol–whether that means they drove a little tipsy or full out drunk. You’re considered to be alcohol impaired when your BAC is .08 or higher. If there’s a crash that involves a driver with a BAC higher than .08, it’s regarded as an alcohol-impaired driving crash. Don’t think it couldn’t happen to you: in 2012, almost 34,000 people died as a result of almost 31,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents.
If you drive drink not only do you risk getting a sentence of vehicular manslaughter, you could also potentially pay thousands of dollars in fines, have a suspension of driving privilege, and also get a criminal offense put on your record. This could affect future opportunities regarding jobs, loans, and even education. If you should be unlucky enough to be caught driving drunk, you may want to invest in a DUI defense attorney.
What You Risk
A good DUI defense attorney or DWI defense attorney can help you alleviate some of the costs of your fines. Given that even getting your first DUI can make you fork over up to $5000, that’s saying something. And that fine may not be the last of the money you give up either–some states require that you pay to reinstate your suspended drivers license as well.
Your DUI defense attorney may also be able to talk you out of jail time–or at least out of a lot of it. If you’re a repeat DUI offender, you could spend up to six months in jail. If you’re under the age of 21 and/or a minor, the state is often more harsh with you–zero tolerance laws. Some states lower their BAC level down to .02 for minors.
What Can An Attorney for DUI Charges Do For Me?
What you hope your attorney will be able to finagle for you is a sentence reduction. Since your lawyer has presumably worked many of these cases before, he or she will know the system (and any loopholes) thoroughly, and will help guide you and/or your family through the necessary steps. He or she will also be the most up to date on any laws or amendments of your state regarding DUI charges.
Your attorney can look at any videos that may have been recorded, speak to witnesses, and dispute any blood alcohol or breathalyzer tests you may have done. If it happens that those tests were administered incorrectly, they can potentially be tossed out as evidence.
Although hiring an attorney may seem like a steep price to pay, they’re worth it, especially if they can keep it off your permanent record. Staying out of jail and having reduced fines makes it totally worth hiring an attorney, especially if this isn’t the first time you’ve gotten charged with a DUI.
Next time you’re tempted to drive back, hold back for a second and ask yourself: Is it really worth it? The answer is always no.