Posted on: 19 April 2017
So, you are the type of person to take a few drinks and then get behind the wheel, thinking it will be fine. After all, the normal legal limit is 0.08 percent, right? A drink here or there, spread out over time causes no harm, you believe. During a traffic stop, you will be cool and calm, passing a breathalyzer test with flying colors.
These sorts of assumptions can get you into serious trouble. Officers can arrest and detain you even if you fall within the legal level of alcohol or drugs. Keep reading to find out how such an arrest can occur and some of the associated penalties.
Driving When Impaired
Regardless of how the state defines driving under the influence (DUI), drivers can always be arrested for "driving when impaired," a serious accusation.
Officers often stop you initially on the belief that you are impaired, meaning your driving pattern seems erratic. Since measuring your blood alcohol content (BAC) is an easy way to prove you were so impaired, that is one of the first things they will do. However, passing this test does not automatically mean the ordeal is over.
For example, if the officer still believes that 0.05 percent of alcohol is enough to cause you to drive in an unsafe manner, they may make an arrest. The alcohol in your system could be used along with other evidence, such as slurred speech and inability to walk in a straight line, to get a conviction.
Yes, being above the limit is usually evidence alone to result in a conviction. However, even if below, the officer may still believe you were impaired and unable to handle the vehicle.
If arrested and convicted, you will then realize your big mistake. You now have to face the penalties.
To get out of jail, you have to pay bail. Most likely, your car will have been towed. It costs a pretty penny to get a vehicle out of city impound. Also, the court will assess fines.
Last, but not least, do not forget the price you pay in lost reputation. Your family, friends and coworkers may trust you less than before. You are now a convicted criminal.
Pleading Guilty to DUI
Pleading guilty without a fight is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make after a DUI arrest. This is especially true when you were impaired while under the limit. Yet, that is what many do. They are emotionally and physically exhausted. They want to get as far from jail as possible. The prosecution hopes you react similarly.
Get Compassionate Legal Advice
The best course of action is to contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. They will know how to better look at the evidence than a public defender who is unfortunately overworked.
Your DUI lawyer can spend the time necessary to analyze every moment of the arrest to discern if any mistakes were made. They can demand justice.
If you were under the legal limit, the arresting officer has more to prove than otherwise. Your lawyer can make them do just that or let you go free.Share