If you have made the decision to get behind the wheel after a night out of drinking, you just might find yourself getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). A police officer will pull you over if it appears that you have been driving erratically, or they may pull you over for some other reason such as a headlight being out on your car. Here is what you can expect in pretty much every state if you are pulled over and the officer suspects you have been drinking.
Once the Officer Pulls You Over
Once you have been pulled over by the police, the officer will come to the driver's window and ask to see your license and the registration of your car. They may also wish to see the insurance papers of the vehicle too. They will then inform you of the reason why they pulled you over – broken headlight, driving erratically or another reason.
If the reason is for erratic driving or they smell alcohol on your breath, they will ask you to step out of the car. At this point, they will ask you to perform a field sobriety test. This usually entails making you walk in a straight line along the road's white line, or with one foot directly in front of the other. They can also ask you to spread your arms wide to your sides and then touch the tip of your nose with your fingers with one hand at a time.
If the officer believes it is warranted, they will have you blow into a machine that determines what your blood alcohol level is. If it is over the legal limit for your state, you will be arrested.
After Your Arrest
When you are arrested and brought to the police station, most states will want to take a blood or urine test to accurately determine the alcohol in your system. You have the right to refuse this test but in some cases, this can add to your sentence should you be convicted of DUI in court.
You will be processed by the officer at this point. This means revealing your name, address, age, and showing them any tattoos or scars you have. The officer will also mark down your height, weight and eye color. They will take your fingerprints at the end of the booking process.
In most states, you will then see a judge and find out what your bond will cost. This does vary between states; in some states it is a pre-set bond, while other in states, the judge will look at previous arrests you may have had and the level of alcohol in your blood. If you have a sober person to take you home at this point, you may be released into their custody; if not, you will spend the night in jail until the alcohol leaves your system.
You will receive the date of your first court appearance not long after being processed.
If you have a DUI, it is a good idea to get a criminal attorney to help you with your case. Consider one from a company like Boehmer Law.