When you have been arrested with the DUI charges, you will be asked to take sobriety tests. These tests comprise of blood, breath and urine tests. You may also be asked to take field sobriety tests that evaluate your coordination. Out of these tests, the blood test is the most decisive one in terms of the punishments and fines that you will get for DUI.
The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Test
The BAC level test is uniformly acknowledged as a standard in all the states of America for determining if you have been driving illegally. Refusing to take BAC test may invite suspension of your license and fines instantly.
You can be convicted and punished accordingly in the court of law if your BAC test scores 0.08% or higher. You will face fines, suspension of license and even have to serve jail term depending on the laws of the particular state in which you faced the arrest.
However, do not think that you will go unscathed if you score lesser than 0.08% in your BAC test. You may have greater chances of fighting off the DUI charges but you will still face punishment if the officer contends that you were impaired even at that BAC level.
Arraignment – The First Court Appearance
After your arrest, you will be taken to the court where you will be charged formally for drunk driving. This court appearance is called arraignment. You can plead guilty or not guilty to the DUI charges. If you choose to plead not guilty, your bail amount will be decided.
Once you are released, you should hire a DUI lawyer, who will assist you in choosing among all the options available to you. You may opt for pleading guilty, asking for a jury trial or pleading for reduced charges depending upon your BAC score.
Consequences of Being a Drunk Driver
Once your crime is proved and you are convicted of drunk driving, the court will impose fines, ask you to pay court expenses and invoke your license for some time. However, in some states, a drunk driver may even have to face a jail term.
No matter in which state of America you are, you will lose your license and pay fines for sure, even as a first time offender.