DUI Arrests And Stages
The process after being arrested for drunk driving can be confusing for someone who has never gone through it before.
The person charged with driving under the influence, after being arrested, will be taken and placed in jail. A breathalyzer test will then be requested. If the driver refuses this test, his or her license is automatically suspended pending further action in the many states that have implied consent. When the tests are not refused, a breathalyzer machine checks the person’s blood alcohol content levels. When the results show a percentage of .08 or above, the person is considered legally drunk throughout the United States. In some states, this number has been decreased for DUI violations.
If suspected of driving while intoxicated, he or she will be under constant observation for criminal evidence to be used against him or her. Law enforcement officers are trained to observe any behavior, characteristics or words that may indicate impairment. Once placed in the squad car after the arrest, the accused individual is watched for any additional incriminating actions. It is best to remain silent so no further evidence may be garnered. While the arrest may be scary, it is best to remain calm and peaceful and to request a lawyer as soon as possible.
Some police officers administer a preliminary or portable breath test to determine if the person driving has been drinking before a person is arrested. BAC levels at or above .08 throughout the entire country are grounds for an arrest, but some states lower this number. If the initial breath test exceeds the national limit, the driver is almost always arrested. Another breath test is usually given to confirm original readings or to ensure a more accurate number has been registered after he or she is taken to the station.
The person is required to participate in breath tests or his or her driver’s license is usually automatically suspended with a refusal for states that have implied consent. In some states, they have further criminal or administrative charges if refusal is given for breath tests. When compliant, no charges are issued for refusal but the prosecution has further evidence of guilt when breath tests register at or greater than .08 percent in BAC. This may also ensure the person remains in jail and is charged with DUI violations. In many instances, a urine or blood test may be requested for a more reliable and accurate reading.
Jail Release after Arrest
In order to leave jail, certain specific conditions must be met. These are verified by police officers to ensure public safety. The person jailed must be sober with no lasting effects of alcohol in the system, and he or she must not be a danger to the public. The person must have normal behaviors along with his or her normal abilities to include the absence of impairment from alcohol consumption. BAC levels must reach as low as .05 percent. This BAC percent is most important when releasing someone within eight hours from confinement. Some states may have additional requirements. Release may or may not include charges for DUI violations.
While in prison, if charges have been issued for DUI violations, it is important to have a lawyer. In order to ensure charges are dropped, sentences are reduced or a better alternative to a full conviction with all sentences is required, an early and aggressive defensive strategy should be implemented as soon as possible. The strengths and weaknesses of the case should be understood when meeting with legal representation. Before the person accused is released from jail, it may become clear which evidence needs to be challenged, if any. Though these processes may seem unfamiliar, frightening or cause apprehension, it is best to ensure the lawyer has all the information of the case as soon as possible. The lawyer may want to interview any potential witnesses that may provide a different account than the official police report. He or she may need to try to preserve evidence before it is destroyed or before it is too late to preserve it.
Pursuing Legal Assistance
It is vital that once a person is charged with DUI that he or she immediately retain the services of a DUI or criminal defense lawyer. He or she can ensure that the individual’s rights are protected and that he or she does not do anything to further incriminate himself or herself.