One person dies every 45 minutes from a drunk driving collision, which adds up to a lot of lost lives each year. The culprit: driving while intoxicated.
Every state takes DUI laws seriously because driving impaired takes lives and causes unnecessary injuries. Therefore, a person caught driving under the influence results in severe consequences.
What are the risks of driving drunk? What consequences does a person face?
Here is a guide that explains the aftermath of getting caught drinking and driving.
Arrest and Jail Time
After getting caught drinking and driving, the first thing that happens is an arrest. The police will arrest you after they pull you over, and you will go to jail.
Unfortunately, you must remain in jail until you pay your bail or the jail releases you. The jail won’t release you without a court order. Therefore, some of the first consequences include an arrest and jail time.
If you have a criminal record, especially a history of driving violations, your bail might be higher than if this was your first offense. Additionally, your jail time might be longer if you’re a habitual offender.
After your arrest, you can contact a DUI attorney. When calling, the attorney will ask for some details and work out a payment arrangement with you. Then your attorney will assist with the rest of your case.
The next thing to expect is court hearings. A DUI case requires multiple court hearings, and the first one is an arraignment hearing. This hearing takes place shortly after the arrest.
If you don’t have a lawyer before this attorney, you should work on finding one quickly. You can read tips about choosing a lawyer or contact James Fletcher, Attorney at Law if you live in the Austin area.
You’ll also have to attend one or more pretrial court hearings. If you choose to go through a trial, you might have several more.
You must attend every hearing the court schedules, and your DUI attorney in Austin will also attend. Your attorney will advise you about your rights and options.
For example, if the prosecutor offers a plea bargain, your lawyer will help you decide if you should accept it. Your lawyer will also answer all your questions and offer guidance.
Risks of Losing Your License
One of the risks you take after a DUI or DWI is the risk of losing your driver’s license. Driving in the U.S. is a privilege, and you can lose this privilege by breaking the law.
Driving impaired is one of the most serious driving crimes you can encounter. Therefore, the court might strip you of your driving privileges.
In fact, most people lose their licenses for at least a few weeks or months after a DUI. Getting your license reinstated after a DUI is less challenging for first-time offenders. However, it’s much harder for repeat offenders.
If you can’t get your license back for a while, you could talk to your DWI attorney about getting a provisional license. A provisional license gives you the right to drive to and from work and other vital places, but that’s all.
You might want to consider your life without a driver’s license. You might have to find a different way to and from work and rely on your family to drive you places.
Losing a license is one of the worst risks you take when drinking and driving.
Additionally, your driving record affects your auto insurance policy and costs. An insurance company might cancel a person after getting a DUI. If they don’t cancel your plan, they might increase your rates.
Rate increases are common after DUIs, as a DUI puts a driver in the high-risk category. Insurance companies base rates on risk levels, so high-risk drivers always pay higher rates.
High-risk drivers might also face the risk of needing SR-22 insurance. SR-22 insurance is something you’ll likely need after a DUI for at least three years.
Alcohol Abuse Courses
Many courts also impose requirements for alcohol abuse courses for people convicted of DUIs and DWIs. An alcohol course might be a one-day event or longer.
If the court mandates this requirement, you must complete the course and provide the proof by a specific date. Failure to comply with this requirement might result in further consequences.
Fees and Legal Costs
You can also expect to encounter a lot of fees after drinking and driving. It’s hard to estimate how much you’ll spend on everything, but it will be costly. Here are some of the fees you’ll have to pay:
A DUI lawyer in Austin charges fees for representing you. You can ask about these costs when hiring an attorney, but you shouldn’t try handling the charges without one.
Many people avoid using an attorney to save money. However, this isn’t a smart idea. Handling a criminal charge isn’t simple without legal representation.
Again, you’ll get arrested after a DUI, and you must pay money to get out of jail. You might have to pay $500 in bail or more, depending on your situation.
The alcohol courses the court mandates aren’t free. The facilities that offer these courses charge fees, and you’ll have to pay these to take the required course.
If your DUI places you in the high-risk driver category, you’ll pay more for your auto insurance. SR-22 insurance costs more than other auto insurance policies, so you might pay even more if you need this coverage.
If you have questions about these things, talk to a DUI attorney in Austin.
Driving While Intoxicated Has Consequences
As you can see, you’ll face some consequences if caught driving while intoxicated. While you can’t go back in time to make a different decision after getting a DUI, you can use this to avoid driving drunk in the future.
If you’re currently facing a driving offense, such as a DUI, you can contact our law firm in Austin, TX. At Deandra Grant Law, we can help you learn your rights and fight for you after a driving offense.