Is there a Drunk Driving Arrest in your Future?

There are two basic criminal charges that result in a drunk driving arrest: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) and (Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). The level of intoxication and the circumstances determine which of these charges will be applied to the driver.

Law enforcement officers carry breathalyzer kits with them in their squad cars to determine a suspect’s alcohol impairment. These alcohol testers are portable and 99% accurate.

When an impaired driver is observed weaving in and out of traffic lanes, speeding, or driving aggressively, he is likely to be pulled over by the police and risks being arrested for drunk driving.

First, the officer will speak to the driver to determine what problems the driver may be experiencing. If law enforcement officer smells alcohol or determines reasonable cause exists, a field sobriety test will ensue.

The test typically consists of walking a straight line, reciting the alphabet and counting backwards, and a breathalyzer test is usually administered to measure alcohol concentration in the blood.

If the alcohol concentration is determined to be above .08%, the drinking driver will likely go to jail. After an exciting, handcuffed ride to the police station, the next step is booking, which entails three basic steps:

Step one is the strip search to locate weapons and to record tattoos, scars, and deformities; next is finger printing, and last is the photograph or “mug shot”. This photograph becomes part of a permanent criminal file that follows the drunk driver for the rest of his life.

After booking, the intoxicated driver is put into a cell to await arraignment, where he will go before a judge, have a hefty fine set, and then return to his comfy jail cell to wait. If the fine amount is too large, it may be necessary to hire a bail bondsman or an attorney to get out of jail. This can take up to 72 hours.

When the accused drunk driving defendant arrives in the courtroom, he will be allowed to speak to the judge directly and then a final verdict will be rendered. Sometimes a person will lose their driver’s license for a certain period of time, be assigned community service and receive another larger fine. These conditions must be met or a warrant will be issued and mandatory jail time will be enforced to satisfy the court.

Not to be outdone, the driver’s insurance company will levy its own fines in the form of higher insurance premiums.

The driver could hire an attorney to minimize some of the damages, but the court will still get paid, as will the insurance company. And of course, so will the attorney.

As you can see, it doesn’t pay to risk a drunk driving arrest. Unless you’re the government, an insurance company, or an attorney.