Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, “I went out last night and had a few drinks. I thought I was alright to drive but I was stopped and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. I am wondering what steps I should take now after my DUI arrest?”
Drinking and driving is a bad decision. Fortunately, it sounds like you understand the mistake you made and now you are asking the right question: What do I do after my DUI arrest? Many drivers do exactly the opposite. They sit back and wait and simply hope the arrest will disappear. Unfortunately, it won’t. Let’s review the steps you should take now.
Steps after a DUI Arrest
- Contact a DUI lawyer.
Although many drivers may want to eventually plead guilty to the DUI, due to the severe penalties, high fines, and the high probability that you will not be able to expunge the DUI arrest and conviction from your driving record, it’s generally a good idea to at least discuss your case with a DUI lawyer and determine what evidence the state may have against you.
- Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The second step after a DUI arrest is to immediately contact the DMV (or equivalent department in your state). If you failed the chemical test or you refused to submit to a chemical test after the DUI arrest, unless you request a hearing a successfully challenge the DUI arrest, your license will be automatically suspended. This suspension is referred to as an administrative license suspension and can be enforced whether or not you are ultimately convicted for DUI.
Although state laws differ, in some states you may have as little as ten days to request the hearing following your DUI arrest. Immediately contact the DMV and ask how and when the hearing must be scheduled.
You will also need to talk to your DUI lawyer about the DMV hearing and what the court will investigate. Specifically, the court will review whether you took or refused the chemical test after your DUI arrest, whether the officer had reasonable cause to believe you were operating your vehicle while you were intoxicated, and whether or not the DUI arrest was lawful. The court will not evaluate whether you were guilty of DUI.
- Gather evidence about your DUI arrest.
You may think you will remember everything about your DUI arrest ,but it’s likely over time your memories will fade. The third step after an arrest is to write everything you remember down.
For example, you will need to write down the date and time of the accident, whether anyone else was in the car, the actions you were making just prior to the arrest, the reason the police said they stopped your car, the questions you were asked and what questions you answered, whether or not you took the field sobriety test, whether or not you made any comments to anyone, what prescription medications you were taking, and how many drinks you consumed prior to the DUI arrest.
You made a mistake. You drank and drive. Don’t compound the mistake. Talk to a lawyer, gather information about your arrest, and request a hearing to challenge the administrative license suspension.
Latest posts by Beth (see all)
- California DUI penalties for minors arrested for DUI? - May 6, 2017
- California DUI with minor in the car. What will happen? - April 30, 2017
- Delaware DUI what do I need to know? - April 23, 2017