Everyone makes mistakes, though some are much more serious than others. If you use poor judgment and get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, many consequences could follow. At worst, people’s lives (including your own) could be at stake. You could cause serious harm and face stiff penalties. In addition to paying a fine and possibly spending time in jail, you may lose your driver’s license, as DC DWI attorney from a law firm like the Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, can explain. You should understand the impact of driving while intoxicated.
What Happens if Officers Pull You Over
Driving while intoxicated doesn’t automatically mean you’ll cause a car accident. Chances are high, however, that you’ll drive erratically. You may swerve, drive off the road, speed excessively or run a red light. Your actions may catch the attention of law enforcement officers.
If an officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or that you’re intoxicated, you may be asked to perform some sobriety tests. In some states, you have the right to refuse these, though the officer can still arrest you. It may signal to the officer that you are hiding something. If the officer arrests you, he or she will read you your rights and take you to jail. At this point, you may speak to an attorney.
In most cases, a judge will suspend your driver’s license after a first-time DWI offense. Initial suspensions vary by state but are generally for four to six months. Some suspensions may be up to one year.
The penalties increase for repeat offenders. If you are convicted a second time for a DWI, you will likely lose your license for two years and spend up to three months in jail. On a third offense, you will probably face a three-year driver’s license suspension with a jail term of three months or longer.
In some cases, the court may grant you a hardship license. This enables you to drive to certain places only such as to work, school or doctor’s appointments.
Getting Fair Treatment
If you are arrested for a DWI, make sure you speak to an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will look at the facts of the case and make sure officers followed the correct procedures. Your attorney will look out for your best interests and will fight for your rights.
Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense. You will almost certainly lose your driver’s license. The more you understand about DWI laws, the greater care and responsibility you can take.