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DUI- How do I know if I was arrested for drunk driving?

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Mug shot of Gordon Campbell in Hawaii (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"]Mug shot of Gordon Campbell in Hawaii[/caption] A recent driver asked on our forum if they were actually arrested for DUI or drunk driving if the police officer stopped their car and gave them a warning for failure to signal but did not give them any indication that they were arrest for DUI. If you have been arrested for DUI the police officer will generally tell you that you have been arrested. They may even handcuff you and put you in the police car. Additionally, you can also expect, in most cases, for the officer to ask you to submit to a blood alcohol content test and give you notice of the consequences if you refuse to take the test.

What happens after blood alcohol content test?

  In most states a refusal of the blood alcohol content test will result in the administrative loss of your driver’s license for at least one year. In many states the blood alcohol content test refusal can also be used as DUI evidence against you at your drunk driving trial. If you take the test and fail the test (your BAC is 0.08% or higher) you can also expect to have your driver’s license suspended. The length of the license suspension varies by state. In some states, after the blood alcohol chemical test, you are also allowed to request an independent blood alcohol chemical test from a qualified tester.

After the DUI arrest

  So, to answer the question above, generally the arresting officer will arrest the driver at the time of the stop, but they have several days following the DUI stop to submit their report to the authorities and begin their case. Generally, citations must be processed within a reasonable amount of time, which can vary. Unfortunately, some drivers will have to stay in jail until they are able to post bond or until they sober up. Other drivers may have to stay in jail several days until they can see a judge. Some drivers want to know when they will be formally charged for DUI. This is different than being arrested for DUI. If you stay in custody (which means the state is holding you in jail) you have the right to see a judge generally 72 hours from the time of the DUI arrest. What if you are not in police custody? The state may wait days, weeks or months to file their formal drunk driving charge and schedule your DUI court appearance. Keep in mind if the state waits too long to file their formal DUI charges you can argue that the prosecutor has violated your right to a speedy trial. If the court agrees you might be able to have your DUI case dismissed.

What if you were involved in an accident?

  What if you are involved in a DUI accident and you were incapacitated? The officer at the scene may be more concerned with your health and safety and getting you good medical care and less concerned about arresting you for DUI. In this case it might not be unusual for the officer to send you to the hospital and arrest you later for DUI.
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