Arrested For A DUI? Here Are A Few Helpful Tips

If you've recently been pulled over and arrested for DUI, there are a few important things to understand about the legal system and what you'll be required to do. You'll have two different court procedures to deal with: criminal and civil. Here are a few tidbits of information and some advice to help.

Criminal court & DUI charges

You'll have criminal charges and need to go to criminal court for your DUI. You will receive a notification in the mail regarding your court date. The notification will come by certified mail to the residence you listed on your driver's license, which can be a problem if the address is out-of-date.

If you no longer live at the address on your driver's license, speak with a lawyer, such as those at Greenberg Walden & Grossman right away. A lawyer can find out what your court date is once it's been scheduled.

Civil court & your driving privileges

Your DUI will also be handled as a civil matter in regards to your driving privileges. It is important to understand that this is entirely separate from your criminal proceedings.

You will receive a letter in the mail from your state's Department of Motor Vehicles if your license will be suspended, which depends on the laws of the state you were arrested in. This letter will be titled something similar to "Notice of License Suspension."

You can appeal this notice, which will prolong the start date of your license suspension. This may help you to keep your driving privileges if you plan on fighting your DUI charges. If you do not appeal this notice, your driver's license will be suspended on the date specified on the notice.

Ignition interlock devices

Some states are requiring DUI offenders to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. DUI fatality rates have dropped 30% in states that have made this mandatory. These devices allow DUI offenders to continue driving while keeping others safe on the roadways.

Before you can start your vehicle, and intermittently while you drive, you will be required to breathe into the device so it can see if there is any alcohol on your breath. Depending on the state's laws, the device will not engage the ignition if it reads alcohol levels above .02 or .04%.

If alcohol is detected, the devices sends the authorities a notification. Therefore, you'll want to avoid using breath freshening sprays, mouthwashes and other products that contain alcohol, in addition to alcoholic drinks.