You’ve had a few drinks with friends, decide to drive home, and the worst thing happens. You get arrested for a DUI charge. Now what? Most people make the mistake of doing nothing and letting the system control what happens to them after a DUI arrest. But doing nothing or panicking could land you serious time on probation, loss of your driving privileges, or serious time in jail. A DUI charge and arrest can have a severe impact on your life. It can cost you your job, hinder your ability to gain employment, and cost you a lot of money in penalties, court costs, and other fees. Knowing what to do after a DUI can mean the difference between keeping your life on track and losing everything. Here are six things to do after getting a DUI.
Sober up and Assess Your Situation Calmly
Immediately following a DUI, you will be taken into custody. What happens next will depend on the county where you live. Some counties will hold you overnight until you sober up. Other counties will release you if you have someone to drive you home and post your bail. Take advantage of jail time or time being processed to sober up and assess your situation. Don’t panic or get advice from other inmates who may be facing the same charge that you are facing. You should avoid talking to anyone about your charges or making statements about your case or charge.
Make Sure Your Vehicle is Secure
When you have the opportunity to make a phone call, try and find someone who can make sure your vehicle is secure. If your car is impounded, find out its location and how much it will cost to get it out of impound. If your vehicle was left on the side of the road or other public place, call a friend or family member to retrieve it for you. Find out any information about your vehicle from the arresting officer.
Get a Ride Home
Your license will be suspended after a DUI arrest. When you are released from custody, make sure you have a ride home. Don’t try to drive yourself. You don’t need a charge for driving on a suspended license on top of a DUI charge.
See an Attorney
There are a lot of jailhouse lawyers that will offer you their free advice while you’re in custody. Your situation may be different from others who have a DUI charge as well. You should see an DUI attorney as soon as possible and provide them with all relevant information concerning your arrest. Take all of your court documents and arrest information with you when you meet for a consultation. One of the most important things to do after a DUI is to get legal help from an attorney.
Don’t get Another DUI Charge
One mistake many people make after a DUI is to get another DUI charge. If you have a drinking problem, then get help through an alcohol recovery program. Seeking out help will benefit you when you go before a judge. The last thing you want to happen is to get another charge for DUI. If you’re going to drink, don’t drive.
Make all of Your Court Dates
It’s crucial that you make all of your court appearances on time. If you have a lawyer, they should keep you informed of all court dates and let you know what to expect. Follow your lawyer’s advice and recommendations.
A DUI charge doesn’t have to be the end of your life. Sometimes a DUI charge can be a wake-up call for a more serious problem. If you make the right choices after a DUI, you can come out of the situation without seriously damaging your life.