When you get a DUI alcohol charge it can be overwhelming. Most people don’t intend to get a DUI, but it can still happen. Fortunately, there are ways to work yourself out of the mess. First of all, be aware that a DUI, although serious, is not forever. In many states, a DUI is counted as a Class B misdemeanor, which is a very light charge. However, if bodily injury occurred as a result of your DUI, you could be charged with a felony.
However, don’t assume that the worst will happen until it happens. Hire a good attorney, and leave it up the attorney and the judge to decide your actual charge. If you just happened to be pulled over and the police officer randomly decided to give you a blood alcohol test which you didn’t pass because you just left your company’s party, you might not have many consequences. On the other hand, if someone was badly hurt or killed because of your behavior, that could be a different story.
It is possible that you might spend a night or two in jail to sober up. Some states simply require it, whereas others give greater discretion to the police officer to decide if it is necessary. It is also possible that you will lose your driver’s license for a time. It might seem like the end of the world, but remember that most major cities have alternate forms of transportation. It might not be ideal, but you can learn to use the bus system, hire a taxi or Uber driver, or enjoy walking or bicycling more often than normal. So unless you are living in small town or remote area, this penalty might be painful, but you can keep going on with your daily life.
Expect your car insurance rates to go up significantly. If it is only your first time DUI offense, your rates may not increase too much. In certain states you will need to obtain an SR-22 in order to get your driver’s license back. Every car insurance company has their own opinion on a DUI. Some might drop you as soon as they find out you had a DUI, whereas others might just charge a higher premium. Shop around to find the best car insurance for your specific set of challenges.
An attorney can be very helpful in wading through the paperwork and explaining the process of a DUI alcohol charge. A good DUI attorney can help you decide what charge to accept – plea bargain, guilty, or nolo contendere. They can help explain your specific situation before a judge in the hopes of reducing your sentencing and making it easier to get back on your feet.