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Thousands of people every year get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. Many get away with it, some get caught, and others are responsible for injury and death. Driving under the influence of alcohol and other substances is not tolerated by law. It is also irresponsible and dangerous. You are putting yourself and others at risk of death or permanent injury.
In many places around the world, and even this country, drink driving is a way of life. It’s an accepted culture and, although the police are fighting to keep it under control, it’s mostly unchecked. In built-up areas, it’s a much different case and drink drivers are arrested on a daily basis. If circumstances lead you to be arrested for drunk driving, here’s what you need to know.
The potential penalties are significant and numerous. A drink driving charge will seriously harm your career, relationships and social standing. You face up to 12 months in prison for simply being caught. If there are more serious consequences such as death or injury, this sentence will grow. There may be compensation to pay if others were injured as a result of your driving. You will be stripped of your driving license and refused permission to drive any vehicle. This could have a serious impact on your career. In some cases you will be banned from leaving the country. In all cases, you will receive a fine and note on your criminal record.
If you are pulled over on the road, it’s important that you comply with the police officer. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test will only result in a more serious charge later on. Take the breathalyzer test and comply with any physical tests the officer asks of you. This could be walking in a straight line or a balance test. A further blood test will be taken at the station. There is simply no way of getting round the issue if you are pulled over. Co-operate and you will receive a more lenient punishment.
If there has been a collision or accident, write everything down as well as you can recall. You can’t always avoid punishment, but you can make sure you are treated within your rights. Take a note of your speed, the location and the officer’s name. Write down the time and date and how you were treated during the apprehension. This will all be useful to show co-operation when you come to a court hearing. It will also help a judge corroborate any clashes of information.
If any of this process confuses you, consult a lawyer. There are plenty of specialist drink driving lawyers across the country. If you’ve found yourself in a Hillsborough County DUI arrest, speak to a DUI lawyer in Florida. The best attorneys can help lower or eliminate the charges brought against you. They know the law and your rights inside out and many offer a no-win no-fee deal. It’s worth making that first contact if you’re unsure.
Drink driving is unacceptable in any situation. However, if you do find yourself in this position, seek counsel and co-operate fully. Learn from the mistake and move on.