Getting a DUI is an unfortunate mistake that many people in the United States make every day. Drunk or impaired driving is so prevalent that twenty-nine people die every day in motor vehicle accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver. This statistic equals about one death every hour. If you are facing your first DUI offense, the most important thing you can do for yourself and others is to make it the only one you ever have.
One of the most common mistakes that someone makes when receiving a first offense DUI is non-compliance. Before, during, and after your arrest, police officers can use your conduct against you in a court of law. Since you have already broken the law, the next best thing you can do is avoid worsening your situation by resisting arrest or attempting to flee.
People who are severely intoxicated sometimes have a tendency to argue or fight with police offers, family, or random bar patrons. Some DUI offenders refuse to use a breathalyzer or take a field sobriety test. By acting belligerently or refusing consent, you could be setting yourself up for more hefty fines or, in severe DUI cases, jail time.
Many people fail to appear in court after a DUI arrest for several reasons. Failing to show up to your court date may result in heavier fines. Additionally, your failure to appear for your court date will result in the judge issuing a warrant for your arrest.
Even for minor traffic violations like speeding, it is never a good idea to avoid showing up for court. In many cases, your court date gives you an opportunity to plead your case or present yourself in a remorseful manner. Showing up for court can never negatively impact your circumstances.
Often, people who are charged with driving under the influence are ordered to complete court referral programs. In many cases, community service will also need to be completed. The best practice for completing these orders is to finish them as soon as possible.
You will likely need to report back to the court to confirm that you have fulfilled your sentencing. If you have been ordered to pay any fines, it will be in your best interest to pay them as soon as possible.
The worst mistake first-time DUI offenders make is taking it too lightly. A DUI charge will likely stay on your permanent record for a few years. Employers and anyone else who runs a background check or criminal report on you will be able to see that you have been charged with driving under the influence. If you want to get your record expunged, make sure that you never drive drunk again.
It can be an overwhelming and stressful situation to be charged with any violation, let alone something as serious as a DUI. If you have been charged with a DUI and are currently dealing with the aftermath, find your silver lining. Be grateful that you were pulled over and arrested before you had the chance to cause a deadly accident.
If you struggle to control your alcohol consumption and are worried you may be at risk of another DUI, seek help. Approximately 17 million adults suffer from an alcohol use disorder. You are not alone, and treatment options are available. When people picture alcohol addiction treatment, AA or rehabilitation likely come to mind. However, there are a variety of services that may be able to help you overcome your addiction. Consider looking into mutual support groups in your area or seeking behavioral therapy.