So you are dead tired as you open your eyes on this new day. You are just thankful yesterday is over. Hazy eyed you begin to recount the previous 24 hours. Here you are in your own bed, but a few hours ago you were walking away from jail, bail paid, freed to face the consequences of your first DUI.
How you got here doesn’t matter right now, all the recollection in the world, all the hindsight is not going to stop you from that last few beers, shots, or drinks. You made a mistake, lost track of yourself, got in a car, and drove. That policeman noticed something in how you were driving, noticed something about your vehicle, or even was just being random. What you did in that moment and from now on is what matters. How do you even begin to deal with your first DUI?
Collect your thoughts
Try your best to get your head around the events that surrounded your arrest for the DUI. Do the best you can to write a log of what happened and when. What did you do to get pulled over? Were you cooperative or belligerent?
Did you blow or refuse
To blow or not to blow. If you blew over .08, you immediately gave evidence against you that is fairly irrefutable. If you blew under, you gave yourself a chance to plea down or even have your case dismissed. So, if you feel that you have been mistakenly pulled over, it is in your best interest to blow and have your BAC recorded. If your behavior has you feeling doubtful, you might consider not blowing.
If you refused
Refusal to incriminate yourself is your constitutional right. Be aware that any consequences of not blowing are much less than a straight path to a DUI conviction. You will still be arrested based on the suspicions of the officer, and his experiences during your field sobriety tests. You will also receive a 12-month administrative suspension of your driver’s license. This suspension has nothing to do with your criminal charges. It is apparently designed to put some teeth into the choice to blow or not. So, if you choose not to, be ready to go to battle to keep your license
Did you consent to a blood test
If you did blow you most likely did not have to have blood drawn. If you refused to blow, you might have allowed a blood draw at the police station. If so, you have introduced a more accurate measurement of your blood alcohol level. Blood draws have to have samples for you and the prosecutor. There can be differences that can work in your favor and there can be complications with the testing lab that can open a door for you to lessen your punishment.
A sea lawyer is a sailor who, in their description, is so well versed in the Uniform Code of Military Justice that he is just like a lawyer. You will have friends who say, hands down, they know as much as a real lawyer. They don’t. Hire a real board certified drunk driving attorney to help you through this. If you know someone who has been through this, you can get references and estimates of costs. If you think you can take this on yourself, remember the costs. Losing means a lot is going to be lost; wages, jobs, relationships, freedoms, and so much mor