After a long and extended holiday season I thought it would be an ideal time to write about DUIs. Someone out there likely made the mistake of drinking and driving. So what do you do when confronted with this moment? First, take a cab no matter the expense, because once charged with a DUI the entire system will have its hands in your wallet and an $80 cab ride will look really good afterwards.
Once stopped by police, you have a decision to make. Do I take the breathalyzer? Everyone has heard the advice offered that you should not take the test, but this is offered by attorneys preserving a case to litigate. The decision is an important one because a DUI case is actually two cases. The first is the criminal matter regarding the DUI offense. The second is the administrative matter determining if you will keep your license. If you refuse the test you will automatically lose your license for one year. Of course, I have had many cases in which the officer does not bother to show for the hearing or they are willing to work something out if the person charged pleads guilty. It is a consideration.
If you take the test you are going to limit your ability to defeat the charge of DUI. I know there are an army of attorneys out there promising that they can beat the charge of DUI, but when the state has a valid field sobriety test and you are on video stumbling behind the car there really is very little an attorney can do regardless of what they promise. At this point we hold your hand and guide you through the process asking for reduced charges and fines. Do not pay exuberant fees to an attorney who promises to make this charge go away.
If this is your first DUI the penalty is standard and regulated per statute. You will have to do 40 hours of community service, a drug and alcohol evaluation, you will have a restricted license for 120 days, you will have a year probation and pay anywhere between $300.00 to $1,000.00 in fines. So the choice is yours: take the test and take the above punishment, or refuse the test and potentially prevail.
The best choice is to take the cab because very few people overcome a DUI charge for less than several thousand dollars.