Drink-and-drive accidents account for an estimated 10,265 deaths back in the year 2015. A 2016 report reveals that about 28 lives are lost daily because of DUI (Driving under the Influence) crashes. Whether it’s your first offense or not, these disturbing figures are harsh eye-openers to what awaits you if you continue to drink and drive. So you don’t end up as a mere figure in these disconcerting statistics or become responsible for adding to them, here are some valuable tips on what you should do after being arrested for a DUI offense.
First Things First, Get a Lawyer
Laws relating to DUI vary from one state to another. Therefore, you should employ the services of an experienced and reputable attorney who can make the otherwise overwhelming court procedure less confusing and easier to handle. Hiring one that specializes in drunk-driving defense law is your best option to defend you from the criminal charges you may face and hopefully get you out of this dark dilemma. Especially if you are a repeat offender, such a lawyer can help lighten penalties to be imposed.
Dutifully Attend Summons from the Court or Your State’s Licensing Authority
You are bound by legal responsibility to face your charges within 30 days after being arrested. Failure to do so will leave you in deeper legal distress.
Accept Any Punishment
Take whatever sentencing the judge may impose on you, whether it is in the form of paying fines, undergoing probation, attending DUI school, having your license revoked or restricted, or serving time in jail. This increases the odds of earning your license back.
Consider Alcohol Recovery Programs
After having your legal woes taken care of, the next big step towards making your previous DUI offense your last is consenting to alcohol rehab. Even if the judge did not sentence a court-ordered alcohol rehab, entering one on your own volition is the rational thing to do. Even the best lawyer cannot solve your problem every single time. The ultimate solution is to seek treatment for your destructive habit, be it alcohol abuse or addiction. Browse through and inquire from various alcohol recovery centers located nearest your residence and select one most convenient and suitable to your preferences. In this way, you are reducing your risks of committing yet another DUI offense and potentially harming yourself and others.
Benefits of Alcohol Rehab
If your case has not yet been resolved and the judge is yet to give a final sentencing, voluntarily submitting yourself to rehab will earn you the following legal advances:
- By maintaining a good track record in your rehab program, your counselors may agree to testify on your behalf. With a professional mental healthcare specialist underscoring your recovery progress and success, the judge may soften his stance on the penalties to be imposed upon you. Most judges can even credit entering residential rehab over spending time in jail.
- If you are a first-time non-violent DUI offender and depending on which state you live in, a criminal record may be avoided by “diverting” your case out of the criminal court system. This is possible only after having completed a rehab program and not committing another offense.
- Agreeing to DUI school can result in having your driver’s license reinstated more quickly.
- Even while your driver’s license is still under suspension, you may be able to drive using a hardship permit. However, this is solely for the purpose of getting to and from the rehab facility you’re enrolled at.
In the deepest sense, the main benefit you can get out of entering alcohol rehab is getting your life back on track. Not only that, you help minimize future road accidents, which can take your own life or the lives of others. This is one of the major contributions of alcohol recovery centers: keeping the road safer by rehabilitating one alcoholic at a time.