Not too long ago, I had to appear in court for a DUI. And while I wished the entire episode never happened, I’m glad there was no casualty involved. Only my wrecked car and my reputation took a beating when I had to appear in court and was given community service and had to pay for the damages which cost me nearly a year’s pay.
Thanks to family members who came to my rescue and my lawyer who was experienced enough to present my case to the court and help me avoid a jail term. But this is not to say that it is entirely safe to drink and drive. And if you do this occasionally, I beg you to stop as you could be putting yourself and others at risk.
A Case of Drunk Driving
It is simple don’t drink and drive or don’t get in front of the wheel when drunk. But as I’ve come to know it is easier said than done. With many road accidents known to be a result of drunk driving, it could be wise to enforce stiffer punishments for culprits. It is a common scene to find drivers pulled over by cops and subjected to a sobriety test.
And not until I fell victim, I always thought that anyone pulled over to the side of the road needed to have their license seized and vehicle impounded. But as I have come to learn, anyone can fall victim. Driving home from a party or hanging out with friends after a few drinks could largely impair your vision and alertness.
A lot of people have lost their lives as a result of drunk driving and this could have easily been avoided if the drivers chose to take a cab home instead. While I’m not judging anyone, you don’t want to get a call from friends or family to learn that someone you know has died due to the carelessness of someone else. So we all should stay safe and consider others while behind the wheels.
How to Avoid Drunk Driving
There is not much to say here other than to be careful when crossing the road as a pedestrian and not operating any machinery when under the influence. The use of alcohol or hard substance can impair your thoughts and judgment causing harm to you or others when you do otherwise. But the truth is that you can avoid the chances of being involved in a case of drunk driving. And below are some of the ways you can do so.
Don’t Drink and Drive
You will only get into trouble for a DUI if you are pulled over by the cops and fail a sobriety test. But while you will have to be over the limit to be penalized for such acts, you can avoid it entirely. You may only be driving a short time before you get to your destination. So it may be a good idea to wait until you get to your destination before opening a can of beer or bottle of alcohol.
It may also be a good idea to wait a while for the drinks to wear off before getting on the road. And you want to be sure that you can manage driving safely until you get home. Also, remember to clear out any empty bottle from the car so you don’t get in trouble when pulled over by the police. This link https://www.vice.com/en/article/ppxyzz/whats-the-safest-way-to-get-home-when-youre-sloshed-226 has more on how to get home safely after a night of heavy drinking.
Take a Cab Home
Hailing a yellow cabbie or ordering an Uber may be the best option to get home after a night of heavy drinking at the club. This is the safest thing to do to avoid any issues with drunk driving when you take your car out for the night. Spending a few bucks for a taxi is a better option compared to having to pay for damages and hospital bills as a result of being involved in an accident. What’s more, you will be saving a life as you won’t be causing pain to anyone as a result of your actions.
Call Someone to Come Take You Home
What are friends for if not for inconveniences? And if you have had too much to drink and are not sure about yourself on the wheels, it could be best to get someone to come to help you out. It is best to try a few friends first to come to your aid and let them know that you need help getting home. This could be a nice way to end the night rather than having to spend it in jail waiting for your court date. And this is if you are lucky not to kill anyone when you get involved in an accident.
Walk Home if You Live a Few Blocks Away
Let’s face it, you are better off staggering to your doorstep than having to make the news the next day for causing destruction to public property or putting someone in the ICU or morgue. You could get someone you trust to walk you home so you don’t get mobbed if you are not sure about your safety.
You can always come back for your car the next day when you must have sobered up. I have seen instances where the police have assisted people who had a lot to drink on a wild night find their way home. The aim is to keep yourself and others safe and it doesn’t matter at what cost so long as you don’t cause harm to yourself or others.
Settling a Drunk Driving Case
If the worse happens, and you were pulled over by the police and failed a sobriety test if you happen to be involved in an accident where you have to appear before a judge, you will need to be prepared for your court date. There is a good chance that your license will be suspended and you’ll have to pay for the damages. You will also have to answer your insurance company to settle any claims arising from the incident. But you should know that so long there is no loss of life, it is not the end. You can always repair or get a new car, but you can’t raise someone from the dead, so it is best to always play safe.
Upon your arrest, you’ll likely be taken to the station to make a statement and will need someone to come bail you to go prepare to answer your case. You should know that you will likely be recorded when you take a sobriety test which will be provided as evidence when you arrive in court. So you shouldn’t think of lying and plead guilty if there is enough evidence against you.
Taking Care of the Accident
If you are lucky to escape unscathed with only damage to your car like when you fall into a ditch, you may only have to fix your car and present yourself for addiction therapy before you can get back on the road. But if other vehicles or people are involved you may have to appear in front of a judge. It is also possible that you could opt for an out-of-court settlement if the owners of the vehicle are lenient enough to understand your plight.
At the scene of the accident, you want to confirm that you weren’t hurt. And if you are bleeding or feel any discomfort in any part of your body, you want to get treated first. But you will likely be taken to the hospital by the police or emergency service. And afterward, be made to face the charges once you have recovered from the event. This page sheds more light on what to do in the event of a motor accident.
Hiring a lawyer
You will surely need a lawyer if you have to appear in court. While you have the option to represent yourself in a DUI, it may be best to leave this to legal counsel if it resulted in damages or injuries to others. This is because they will be able to present your case better and help you get a fair hearing. When in need of a lawyer for a DUI, you don’t want to hire just anyone to represent you. They have to be experienced in handling related cases. And they can also give you advice on how to present yourself in court.
You could get a referral for the best attorney to hire if you ask around from your friends and family. They will likely be able to suggest someone qualified and experienced to represent you. This will be a better option than having to just settle for anyone. And since you are working with those close to you, they will be able to help with making sure you get the best representation.
Use the Web
You can also find lawyers for hire online. Many law firms have websites where they outline their specialties making it easy for you to find the right one to work with. You want to make sure to read through to make sure they have the professional experience to represent you in court. You will also have to visit them to discuss more your case. So you want to make sure to find their contact address and give them a call to book a meeting. The team at mylocalduilawyer.com is experienced with handling cases involving DUI. So you can check them out if you or someone you are close to is in need of professional assistance getting out of a possible jail term.
Settle on Payment
Except you will be represented by your close friend or relative, you will need to pay the legal fees for having an attorney represent you in a court case. While the price is not fixed and will depend on the law firm you work with, it is always best to pay the price for quality representation. It may be best that you check with friends and relatives to assist you with getting a qualified and experienced attorney to ensure that you get a fair hearing and sentencing if need be.
You will also need to make yourself available for meetings with your attorney. This is so you can discuss at length how they intend to present your case or better yet defend you in court. It is not enough to just leave the entire job for them. While they are trained to carry out legal proceedings, you want to also be aware of what is happening in the court. And the only way to do so is to be prepared. So endeavor to keep it a date with all meetings.
Appearing in Court
You will be provided a court date for you to appear before a magistrate court for your first hearing. And you want to make sure to appear like someone who has sobered up. The charges against you will be read in court and the prosecution will present their case. You will then be allowed to defend the charges against you while praying that the court grants your pardon.
For first-time offenders who didn’t cause much damage as a result of drunk driving, the court could give a slight punishment such as paying fines, doing community service, and going for addiction rehabilitation. But you could face a stiffer punishment like a jail term if you are a repeat offender or you injure or kill someone as a result of your actions.
Getting out of a Driving Ban
You will certainly lose your privileges to drive after failing a DUI or prosecution for drunk driving. But the good thing is that it is not permanent and you can always get back to driving after serving your ban period. In most cases, you will need to apply for a new license if your ban lasts more than 60days. But there are point-based systems that make it easy to determine how long your ban will last. And you should know that it can last up to two years if you are a repeat offender.
Taking Care of the Insurance Company
There is no doubt that insurers are wary of people who have been convicted for drunk driving, and it could be a challenge for you to find a company willing to cover you after your ban period. As a business entity, they are critical about sponsoring high-risk drivers and may reject your application. But it is possible to still find companies who are willing to sponsor you but you should know that it will cost more than normal to cover someone with a DR10 on their name.
It is always best to avoid drunk driving if you want to safeguard your life and that of others. It is also wise to do so if you don’t want to lose your driving privileges and spend much on a court case. If you happen to find yourself above the drinking limits, it is best to call a cab or someone to take you home. Or better yet, take a walk home if you live only a few blocks away from the pub. It is not worth it to drink and drive or do so when intoxicated.