Don’t Drive Drunk! But If You Do, Have a DUI Attorney On Hand

Fighting a traffic ticket

We all know that drunk driving is a serious problem that can have devastating effects on those involved — from the drunk driver and his or her family to the victims of the drunk driving accident. Yet, many people still aren’t taking drunk driving laws seriously — many Americans have reported that they’ve driven under the influence at least once or twice in their lives. Many believe they know their limit and that driving when tipsy isn’t going to cause an accident. The problem is: anything can cause an accident. And if you’re pulled over while your blood alcohol content is over 0.08, you’re in for some serious trouble with the law, even if you didn’t hurt anyone. The law doesn’t joke about DUIs and there are some very stiff legal and financial penalties to pay for getting a DUI, even if it’s your first one. This might be a good time to start looking for a DUI attorney, especially if it’s your first DUI.
Why Are DUIs Such a Big Deal?
Let’s put it this way: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a little over 29 million people have confessed to drunk driving over the last year. Around 4,000 people get arrested every day for drunk driving — that’s almost a million and a half people over the course of one year! Perhaps even more frightening is the fact that a person drives drunk approximately 80 times on average before he or she eventually gets caught. No surprise then, that almost 30% of convicted drunk drivers are repeat offenders or that almost 60% of drunk drivers keep on driving, using a suspended license.
Drunk driving is costly — the US shells out almost $200 billion each year for drunk driving and over 60% of people will be involved (in some capacity) in a drunk driving accident at some point during their life. That’s a majority of the population.
How Stiff Are the Punishments for Getting Caught?
Driving under the influence is no joke and despite even the best DUI attorney, the penalties can be harsh. Each state has its own penalties and laws, for DUIs or DWIs. In Washington State for example, for just your first DUI, your jail time could be anywhere from just a day to a full year. You could be expected to pay a fine ranging from $800+ to $5,000 and your license could be suspended for three months to a year. And that’s just for your first DUI offense! The more offenses you have, the steeper the penalties. And DUIs go on your permanent record, which can make it hard to seek out good opportunities later.
If you’re under the age of 21, the penalties are even more severe. Since that’s considered underage drinking, you’ve now broken two laws and many states have a zero tolerance policy. So don’t think just because you’re a minor that the DUI laws will be any less severe for you — in fact, they may be worse.
How Can a DUI Attorney Help Me?
A DUI attorney can often get your sentence reduced, especially if this is your first offense. They can enter a plea bargain on your behalf, especially if some uncertainty was already introduced into the case. They can challenge blood, urine, and other field sobriety tests and may be able to minimize your sentence down to “reckless driving” especially if your record is otherwise clean. This would be tough to do on your own. If you’re going to trial, you’ll definitely need the help of a DUI attorney, who is better versed in the ins and outs of cases such as yours and who will be able to guide you through the necessary paperwork and steps of your trial. If you’re unsure, the best bet is to go with a DUI attorney, since he or she can steer you down the right path.
Don’t throw away your future because of one reckless decision or convincing yourself that you’re okay to drive. Your actions could change not only your life but the lives of those around you.

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