What Happens if You Do Get Caught Drinking and Driving

Cincinnati dwi attorney

Even though we’ve all probably operated a motor vehicle after having a couple glasses of wine (or more), driving under the influence is dangerous and if your blood alcohol is higher than .08, illegal. (Some states have an even lower BAC for underage drinkers.) Similarly, distracted driving or driving under the influence of illicit drugs is also illegal and dangerous to pedestrians and other drivers on the road. We may not think we’re doing anything wrong — “I’m only looking at my phone for a second!” or “I haven’t had that much to drink!” — but one split second can irrevocably change lives. We’ve all heard the tragic stories of those killed by drunk drivers or distracted drivers and may even know a family or individual who was impacted by those consequences. But what happens if you find yourself in a similar situation? It’s definitely in your best interests to hire a criminal defense attorney to help plead your case.
Let’s Take a Look at the Facts
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that on a daily basis, almost 300,000 people drive drunk but less than 4,000 are actually arrested. Usually a drunk driver can drive under the influence as much as 80 times before first being arrested. Furthermore, in 2012, over 10 million people said they had driven under the influence of illegal drugs in the last year. Yikes! Distraction.gov reports that at any given daylight moment in the United States, over 650,000 drivers are using cell phones or fiddling with another electronic device while they drive. Even though it only takes 4.6 seconds to send or read a text while driving, those are 4.6 seconds where you’re not focused on the road. If you’re going 55 mph, you’ve basically driven the length of a football field.
Now, given these numbers, it’s a little shocking that only a little under 1.5 million people are arrested annually for a first offense DUI. Drunk driving costs the United States almost $200 billion a year, says MADD as well.
Uh Oh. I Got a DUI. What Do I Do Now?
Getting in touch with a criminal defense law firm and choosing a DUI attorney are important steps, particularly if your state has strict DUI laws or this is your second or third DUI offense. Although many people are surprised that DUI attorney falls under the class of a criminal defense attorney, driving drunk is a crime. A criminal defense attorney who specializes in DUI’s can often help you come up with a plea bargain or sentence bargaining, which can often help lower your time in prison. Even if this is just your first DUI, a good criminal defense attorney is a good resource if you’re unsure of what will happen if you plead guilty (if the sentence length or fines are undetermined). Given that the national average cost of a DUI is $10,000 (and can be higher or lower, depending), you want to know how much money you might be asked to pay.
What Things Should I Keep In Mind When Looking for a DUI Attorney?
Definitely find one that has a specialized knowledge about the DUI laws in your state. One that focuses specifically on DUI’s are going to know how the court works (and even how particular judges might work) and how to go about representing your case to your advantage. You can also do initial consultations — these are commonly offered free of charge — and evaluate the DUI attorney and ask about how much they’ll charge for representation and figure out what the total rate might be. Some attorneys may offer payment plans or discounts as well, so if you’re hard up for money, ask if he or she offers that option. Don’t be afraid to talk to multiple attorneys before making your decision.
Drinking and driving is never a good idea, but sometimes it can happen, despite your best intentions. If you find yourself in this kind of predicament, seeking out a good DUI attorney can help you learn your lesson, but hopefully with slightly reduced consequences.

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