A DUI is a serious charge that should always be taken seriously. The consequences of a DUI conviction in Indiana include fines that range from $500 to $10,000, a loss of driving privileges for up to two years, and even jail time. These consequences will be less harsh for first-time offenders, but three or more DUI convictions on your record could mean spending up to a decade in prison.
A DUI is something that changes your life, even if you rarely drink and happen to be caught over the legal BAC limit just once. It doesn’t mean that your life is ruined, however. It may not always be possible to successfully fight a DUI charge if there is an overwhelming amount of evidence against you, but you can deal with the consequences it will have on your life and even come out better for it.
What Happens When You Are Caught Driving Under the Influence?
If a police officer pulls you over under the suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, you will almost certainly face a field sobriety test and possibly even a breathalyzer test. You can refuse a breathalyzer test, but that is not recommended as it can result in a license suspension of one to two years.
If it is determined that you have a BAC or blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent (or .02 percent if you are under 21) or that you are clearly intoxicated, the police officer will arrest you, and your vehicle will most likely be towed at your expense. You can expect to spend several hours at the police station waiting to be processed, especially if it is your first offense. Depending on factors such as your age and your criminal record, you may be allowed to post bail, but you can expect to be incarcerated immediately.
Regardless of your situation, your next step should be to contact an attorney who specializes in DUI cases. In most DUI cases, the defendant’s BAC is documented, which makes it difficult to actually fight the case, but there are still some options available to you. You can enter a guilty plea if you don’t want to spend the time and money fighting the charges, or you can enter a plea bargain for a lesser sentence. Your attorney will give you advice on the best course of action for you based on the available evidence. In any case, you should always remain truthful when answering questions while treating everyone involved with the utmost respect.
Avoiding A DUI Charge
Fighting a DUI charge is almost always an uphill battle, so the best way to avoid the charge is to avoid driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol altogether. Some people have a high enough tolerance to alcohol where they feel like they can have one or two drinks and still be okay to drive. This might be true for some people, but it is always best to err on the side of caution. If there is any doubt in your mind that you won’t be able to drive, don’t do it.
Either stay where you are until you sober up or give your keys to someone who hasn’t been drinking. If you don’t trust yourself to drink responsibly when you’re around alcohol, arrange for a sober ride to and from your destination. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is both illegal and incredibly dangerous, and there are times when being pulled over and charged with a DUI is the best case scenario. The worst case scenario involves injury or death.
When to Seek Help
It is possible to be charged and/or convicted of a DUI when you don’t have a substance abuse problem. They simply have a night of poor judgment and end up paying for it. On the other hand, someone who finds that they cannot control themselves around alcohol or drugs and who has been charged with multiple DUIs almost certainly has a substance abuse problem. If you feel like this describes you or a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact our treatment center at 833-762-3739 and ask for help. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with the assistance you need to begin your treatment and recovery.