What To Do If You Get A DUI

About 32 people die daily in the United States because of drunk driving. Given this number, many still risk driving while intoxicated. Some think they may get away with it and get home safely because they have done so in the past. Some drivers don’t realize they can be stopped at any time by a police officer. And when the officer suspects they’re under alcohol, they can be in big trouble.  

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense in which a person operates a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. DUI laws vary by jurisdiction as the conviction for offenses depends on the state, province, or country where the violation happened. If you’re facing DUI charges in Los Angeles or any city or state, taking the necessary steps to defend yourself and mitigate the consequences of the charge is essential. However, before a person gets charged with a DUI, their BAC should exceed the legal limit, typically 0.08%.

This post will outline the steps you should take if you get a DUI. By following these steps, you can navigate the legal system more effectively and work towards a positive resolution.

What Should You Do If You Get A DUI?

Here are the steps you should take if you’re charged with a DUI:

  1. Remain Calm And Cooperate With The Police

Suppose you’re pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence; remaining calm and cooperative is crucial. It can be a stressful and intimidating experience, but it’s essential to remember that the police are doing their job and are there to protect the public.

When you’re pulled over, move your vehicle to the side of the road and turn off your engine. Roll down your window and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Be polite and respectful, and follow the police officer’s instructions. If they ask for your license and registration, provide them to the officer. If they ask if you have been drinking, being honest is essential. Lying to the police can result in additional charges, which might not be worth it.

Avoid making any incriminating statements, and don’t argue or resist arrest. Cooperating with the police does not mean admitting guilt, but it can help prevent further legal complications and may even work in your favor during the legal process.

If you’re unsure what to do or say, ask the police officer for clarification. It’s vital to communicate effectively and respectfully and avoid escalating the situation. 

  1. Be Honest With The Police

It can be tempting to deny that you have been drinking or to lie about how much alcohol you have consumed, but doing so can make your situation worse. When the police officer asks if you have been drinking, it’s crucial to be truthful. If you have consumed alcohol, admit it and cooperate with the officer.

Being honest with the police may work in your favor. If you’re charged with a DUI, especially if this is your first time, a judge may view your honesty and cooperation with the police as a mitigating factor when determining your sentence. On the other hand, lying to the police can harm your credibility and make it more challenging to defend yourself in court.

If you’re uncomfortable answering a question, you can politely decline and ask to speak to an attorney. However, being truthful and honest is vital if you choose to answer questions.

  1. Know Your Rights

Understanding your rights can help you navigate the legal system more effectively and protect yourself from self-incrimination.

Some of the most important rights to be aware of when facing a DUI charge include the following:

  • The right to remain silent: You can exercise this right by politely declining to answer questions until you have an attorney present.
  • The right to an attorney: Your attorney can help guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.
  • The right to a fair trial: You have the right to a fair trial and shouldn’t be assumed guilty immediately. You should be allowed to confront witnesses, cross-examine, and present evidence in your defense.
  • The right to appeal: If found guilty, you can appeal the decision.

It helps to know about your legal rights to protect yourself from any form of abuse.

  1. Request An Attorney

The police are required to inform you of your Miranda rights, which include the right to an attorney. It would be best if you made it clear to the police that you want to exercise this right and that you want to speak to an attorney before answering any further questions.

A DUI lawyer can review the evidence against you, provide legal advice, and represent you in court. They can also help you understand your legal rights and the potential consequences of a DUI conviction. You may be eligible for a court-appointed attorney if you cannot afford to pay for one.

  1. Attend All Court Appearances

Failing to appear in court can result in additional charges and penalties. It can also harm your credibility and make it more challenging to defend yourself in court.

When you’re charged with a DUI, you will typically receive a court summons that outlines the date, time, and location of your court appearance. It’s vital to note this information and show up on time for your court appearance. Suppose you cannot attend for any reason; in that case, you should contact your lawyer as soon as possible to explain the situation and request rescheduling the court appearance.

It’s also essential to comply with any issued court orders. For example, if you’re ordered to attend a treatment program or complete community service, you should follow these requirements promptly and responsibly. 

  1. Consider Alcohol Treatment

During the court proceeding, you may be required to undergo an alcohol assessment to determine if you have a substance abuse disorder. Knowledgeable court specialists will provide a treatment plan to address your circumstances. This can help you understand the root cause of your drinking and develop healthier coping mechanisms so that this situation won’t happen again.  

It’s essential to choose a reputable program that is well-suited to your needs. Your DUI lawyer can help you identify treatment options and provide guidance on completing the treatment process in a way that benefits your legal case.

How To Determine Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)? 

BAC refers to the amount of alcohol in your blood. As mentioned, the typical level of alcohol concentration by volume is 0.08%. Furthermore, the most reliable indicator of this is by using a breathalyzer. 

Authorities use the breathalyzer because 5% of the alcohol in your body is removed by your lungs when you exhale, 5% is excreted in your urine, and your liver metabolizes the remaining 90% at an average of one drink per hour. 

One should never underestimate the power of alcohol because it causes chaos in the brain that results in your vision, hearing, judgment, reaction time, and coordination becoming noticeably impaired. 

When alcohol is in the brain prevents excitatory neurotransmitters from working and facilitates the operations of the inhibitory neurotransmitters. You might not notice, but after a few drinks, your voice sounds louder than usual, you can’t press the buttons on your phone correctly, and you can’t walk straight anymore.    

What’s worse is that you suddenly gained incredible confidence in your sobriety which can be dangerous and may cloud your judgment and affect how you execute your plans and your ability to reason, especially while driving. 

Impacts Of DUI Charges

DUI charges can have serious consequences, including the following:

  • It can lead to license suspension or revocation. In all states, suspension of license by the DMV is a possibility, the length of time varies depending on the state, but the most common term of suspension is 90 days, including first offenders.
  • The penalty cost for DUI varies by state but typically ranges from USD$500 – USD$2,000 or more.
  • The installation of the ignition interlock device will be at your own expense.
  • Community service hours vary by state but typically range from 24-50 hours for first-time offenders to about 200 hours for repeat offenders.
  • Authorities would require a mandatory alcohol assessment.
  • Most first-time offenders are charged with a misdemeanor in some states, but in some, when you’re convicted of a DUI, there could be a jail time of up to a minimum of one to two days up to a maximum of six months.

In addition, a DUI conviction can have long-term effects on a person’s employment, insurance rates, and personal life.

These are just some legal consequences, which will vary, especially if there are aggravating factors, such as exceptionally high BAC, and severe bodily injuries, or death due to an accident. 


Getting a DUI is a challenging and stressful experience, but it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to mitigate the consequences of a DUI charge. Following the steps mentioned in this post, you can demonstrate to the court that you’re taking responsibility for your actions and committed to making positive changes.

It’s important to remember that a DUI charge is serious. If you’re facing a DUI charge, don’t hesitate to contact a DUI lawyer for help. They can provide you with legal guidance, support, and representation to help you navigate the legal process and achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Remember, it’s never too late to take control of your situation and work towards a brighter future.