What To Do When You're Arrested For DUI
Choose the right attorney
A DUI arrest can carry heavy consequences in South Carolina. If you've been pulled over and failed a field sobriety test with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher, your life could change for the worse.
In the event that you've been arrested and charged with a DUI, the actions you take can greatly impact your case. Choosing the right attorney is a good start. Contact attorney Matt Bodman and find out what we can do for you.
DUI arrests are not to be taken lightly
After you've been pulled over, the police officer will look for clues that you've been driving under the influence of alcohol. They might find paraphernalia in your vehicle or smell alcohol on your breath. They may even cite your slurred speech or signs of clumsiness. Any indicator of DUI will likely prompt law enforcement to conduct a field sobriety test. However, it's important to note that you may refuse to take field sobriety tests.
Field sobriety tests can include:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN): You may be required to follow a light with your eyes without moving your head.
- One leg stand (OLS): Officers may ask you to stand on one leg and lift the other leg in the air. However, this test doesn't always determine if a driver is drunk.
- Walk and turn (WAT): This test requires you to walk in a straight line and turn back in the same direction.
If your BAC is .08 or higher, there's a good chance you will be arrested. Since driving is a privilege and not a right, your license could be suspended. Additionally, you could be fined and face jail time. All it takes is an officer's observations and evidence brought against you to find you guilty in court.
The legal consequences of DUI include:
- 1st Offense:
- A minimum of 48 hours in jail
- Fines up to $1,000
- License suspension of 6 month
- 2nd Offense:
- A minimum of 5 days in jail
- Fines up to $6,500
- License suspension of 1 year
- 3rd Offense:
- A minimum of 60 days in jail
- Fines up to $10,000
- License suspension of 2 years
- 4th offense:
- 1 to 7 years in jail
- Fines up to $10,000
- Permanent license revocation
Don't handle your case alone
The aftermath of a DUI arrest can be burdensome and expensive. Those convicted can also be required to serve probation, attend DUI classes and attend an alcohol evaluation - all of which can be costly. Those who complete probation and other DUI-related programs can be forced to install an ignition interlock device, which prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol on the driver's breath.
When an officer asks if you have had anything to drink, your response can be self-incriminating. If you tell the officer that you only had one drink, then that sets the stage for probable cause.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, the best thing you can do is assert your Fifth Amendment rights and remains silent. You'll most likely be arrested and charged with suspicion of a DUI, but what you say can greatly affect the outcome of your case.
Your next step following an arrest should be to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney, who can help protect your rights. Matt Bodman, P.A. understands how DUI arrests works and what you can do to protect your legal rights. When it comes to your freedom, we will fight for you every step of the way.
Contact attorney Bodman for a free consultation, or simply call toll free at (866) 487-9077.