Did you know that for drivers under 21 years of age, the U.S. has a “no tolerance” policy? This means that, unlike of age drivers who can usually have a legal limit of .08% alcohol in the blood system, underage drivers need to be .02 or lower. Although this seems logical, since minors cannot legally drink, many of them are unaware that they cannot legally have a single drink in their system. If you are looking for a drunk driving attorney, there are probably a lot of questions you have about this process. Here are three important facts you should know, going into this.
1. Do You Have to Submit to a Breathalyzer?
Many people only realize belatedly what their rights are in terms of refusing to consent to procedures. In some cases, it does make sense to refuse to take a sobriety test, depending on your state’s individual laws and the likelihood that you will blow the test. If you feel fairly certain you’ll pass, you should probably take the test. In every state, refusing to be tested is a violation that carries penalties regardless of whether you are convicted of drunk driving. Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right, and irresponsible driving is going to be punished. Some states will immediately suspend your license if this occurs.
2. Penalties for Drunk Driving
What are the penalties for drunk driving? Again, this varies state by state. Overall, penalties have become much tougher in recent years as law enforcement tries to curb how many drivers get behind the wheel after drinking. In every state, a first time DUI or DWI can be punishable by up to six months of jail time, and it is classified as a misdemeanor. Some states give more jail time and penalties for individuals with particularly high blood alcohol readings. Fines are usually imposed and range from $500 to $2,000. Most states suspend licenses for 90 days after a first offense. Additionally, insurance companies will usually increase their rates drastically. Drunk driving consequences, in short, are no small thing.
3. Can Drunk Driving Defense Lawyers Help?
In most cases, a drunk driving attorney can help defendants make a plea. Basically, the court doesn’t want you to go through the entire proceedings of the courtroom, since it costs money and takes up time. In many cases, the court will accept a plea bargain, especially if there was no accident, you have no record, or if the amount of alcohol in your system was borderline, such as .09. Your attorney might also contact witnesses, challenge breathalyzer tests, or analyze videos in order to help your case. If breathalyzer tests are not properly administered, for example, the results are not admissible in court.
Have you ever contacted a drunk driving attorney?