First 30 Days Blog

02 jul

How to Handle Your First DUI

JennaSmithSo you made a pretty massive mistake and decided to drive while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Worse yet, your behavior was poor enough that the police noticed and caught you. Now you’ve been given your first DUI citation and you are starting to wonder how you are going to pick up the pieces and recover.

The good news is that if this is your first offense, there are some things you can do that will indeed allow you to pick up almost where you left off and move on. The bad news is that it won’t be easy, its built to not be easy and to be a pain in the butt so that you don’t think driving while intoxicated is something that should ever be repeated.

As long as you follow this advice you’ll be able to put the incident behind you in relatively short order.

Take the DUI Seriously

The more naïve among us actually take getting a DUI citation as a badge of honor. The reality is this is the worst way you could possibly handle the situation. You should know that the authorities certainly take someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol very seriously.

Police departments actually take DUI charges so seriously, they’re willing to cite those who are trying to help others avoid getting caught. One Ohio man was recently cited because he put up a sign warning other drivers of a DUI checkpoint.

Make sure you are taking your situation seriously. Don’t treat it like a joke because it’s not.

Contact Your Local DMV ASAP

While DUI laws are different from one state to the next, in most locations a DUI will result in a suspended license. Some states have a mandatory suspension of 6 months or more. You don’t want to be without the ability to drive a car for a 6 month period. Your local DMV can tell you if your state has any kind of program like ignition interlock in place.

Ignition Interlock is a system that doesn’t allow people to drive as long as they have alcohol in their system. If people try to do it they are reported as violating the program and the punishment will become even more severe.

Other states will also make it so you need to get special auto insurance called sr22 that allows you to keep yourself insured while you’re driving until the DUI citation punishment has cleared up. This kind of policy is naturally more expensive than other kinds, so you’ll definitely have to search for cheap sr22 insurance where possible.

Seek Treatment

It’s certainly possible that your DUI was a one-time thing and you don’t actually have a drinking problem. Nevertheless, statistics show that most people who are caught on a DUI citation are abusing drugs or alcohol in a way that means they need to head to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

Because there will be sometime between your citation and your court date, it’s in your best interest to start going to meetings ASAP. You will likely be ordered to go to some sort of counseling program as part of your sentence. If you start going before you are ordered to do so, you can show the judge that you are taking the right steps.

Be A Model Citizen

Going to some sort of treatment program is likely going to be part of your sentence but you could also be sentenced to jail (happens less often with first offenses) and you will also likely be sentenced to probation.

If you are serving probation, make yourself into a model citizen. If you’re supposed to stop drinking altogether, stop drinking. If you’re supposed to report in at a certain time each day or week, report in. Don’t allow yourself to start feeling like the victim. You committed the crime. Take the opportunity to correct problems in your life and then you really can get a sort of do-over once you have carried out whatever the courts demanded of you.

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Posted by Jenna Smith on July 2nd, 2014 in New Directions | 0 comments Read related posts in , ,

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