July 20, 2024

Got a DUI? Why You Should Hire a DUI Attorney to Protect Your Rights

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Have you ever had a couple of drinks at dinner or at a party and then slipped behind the wheel of a car, thinking that you’re fine to drive? Most of us have gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle while somewhat under the influence. However, driving drunk can have devastating consequences for both the driver, any passengers, and those he or she comes into contact with. Even if we’ve only had one or two drinks, our judgment, reflexes, and other motor skills are going to be impacted, and all it takes is misjudging something at the wrong time. You’re also putting yourself at risk for getting a DUI. If you’re pulled over, even one drink is going to have affected your blood alcohol content. If you’re facing DUI charges — whether it’s your first, second, or third time — finding a good attorney is certainly in your best interests. The law takes DUI offenses very seriously and there are stiff financial and legal penalties for driving while under the influence.
Why Are There Such Heavy Fines and Consequences for DUI Offenses?
Law enforcement hopes that serious consequences accompanying driving drunk will prevent more people from actually doing it in the first place, or teaching offenders a stern lesson to prevent them from doing it a second or third time. Given that over 29 million people say they’ve driven drunk in the last year and that someone can drive drunk around 80 times before ever getting stopped by law enforcement, it’s clear that strict measures need to be taken.
Even though about 4,000 people are taken into custody daily for drunk driving, just around 30% of drunk drivers who have been convicted are repeat offenders and just shy of 60% of drunk drivers stay on the road, flying under the radar with suspended licenses. The hope that is stiff penalties will discourage these repeat offenders or intimidate first-timers enough that they won’t even take the risk.
So How Bad Are We Talking In Terms of Fines and Other Penalties?
One of the reasons to start finding a good attorney is that the consequences for driving under the influence are no joke. State DUI laws (and penalties) fluctuate from state to state, and if you’re in a state with particularly harsh DUI/DWI laws, a good DUI lawyer could make all the difference.
For example in Ohio, you could be facing time in jail that ranges anywhere from three days to six months, your license could be suspended for six months to three years, and you may face fines that span anywhere from $250 to $1,000. They’re not any more lenient to first-time offenders. If this is your first DUI offense, you’re usually required to pay a license reinstatement fee that’s $450. DUI offenses also go on your permanent record, which can affect your future in terms of employment, loans, and more.
Why Do I Need a DUI Lawyer?
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, you need to focus on finding a good attorney that specializes in DUI’s. A good DUI lawyer will be able to protect your rights and work on your behalf to limit the charges against you. For example, the police must have probable cause in order to pull you over and issue a DUI. Unless there’s evidence to confirm you were driving erratically, they’re not allowed to pull you over. If you were pulled over for no reason, your attorney can argue that they pulled you over without cause and perhaps eliminate or limit the sentence against you.
Finding a good attorney also means that you’re hiring someone who is up to date on new DUI laws, knows the ins and outs of this type of law, and hopefully can get your sentence brought down. A DUI attorney can also challenge field sobriety tests (breathalyzer, blood, or urine tests) if there’s uncertainty about them being properly administered.
If you find yourself in the position of facing DUI charges, hire a good DUI lawyer and learn from your mistakes! Driving drunk has serious implications and real world consequences — don’t let your future be compromised by one bad judgment call.

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