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I fucked up, and got a DUI

ChellisChellis Registered User regular
edited August 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I screwed up big time. I've been worried sick all day about whats coming up in the near future from this. I've been researching everything, trying to figure out what to expect, and how to prepare for everything.

Some basic things: I live in california(Contra Costa County, specifically), I'm over 21, and this is my first offense. I simply cannot afford a lawyer. I didn't hurt anybody, or anything like that. I voluntarilly took the breath test, cooperated fully with the police, and was at 0.12 BAC when I was arrested.

I have a few questions, hopefully I can get some good advice.

1. I understand that I have ten days to file an appeal with the DMV over what happened. However, I don't see any point in it, as I was driving drunk, and it was a legal arrest, etcetera. However, the officers that were dealing with me made it clear to me that I could do so... is there any reason that I would want to? From my research, it has nothing to do with getting a restricted licence as opposed to a suspended one.

2. I was issued with a order of suspension and temporary license. As far as I can tell, this allows me to drive currently, until my license is legitimately suspended. I want to make sure I'm not illegally driving.

3. I didn't have my license when I was arrested(rather, I did, but it got lost in my car in the confusion). Will I still need to pay the DMV to reissue my license later on, even though it didn't actually get confiscated?

4. The big one. Is there anything I can do(outside of getting a lawyer, I know its the best advice) to minimize whats going to happen to me from this? I fully understand I deserve this happening to me, but I really want to minimize how badly this is going to go for me.

Chellis on
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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    do you have a criminal charge?

    kaliyama on
    fwKS7.png?1
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    ChellisChellis Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Yes, as far as I am aware. I was told I had a court date in mid october.

    Chellis on
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    zilozilo Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You can try to fight it but it doesn't look like there would be any point. An appeal would just cost you time and money. Go to court, show remorse, learn a valuable lesson.

    zilo on
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    MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Isn't this the kind of thing where not getting a lawyer will end up costing you infinitely more in the long run. Somebody who knows more, correct me if I'm wrong - but isn't this one of those things where its time to start selling your stuff and/or take out loans if that's what it takes to get the lawyer?

    MushroomStick on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The only thing more expensive than hiring a lawyer is not hiring one.

    Thanatos on
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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you're serious about trying to mitigate the effects of this incident on your life you really need to get legal representation. Look up local lawyers that specialize in DWI cases; they can probably put you on some kind of payment plan.

    Even with the breath test, if this is your first offence you might get deferred adjusication/dispensation or a lesser charge or something, but it's very unlikely you'll get that without someone representing you who knows what they're doing.

    Even a lesser charge is probably going to result in a $1K-2K fine and loss of license for 6-18 months so you might as well see what a lawyer can do for you.

    The particulars re: license suspension and what kind of deals can be cut are going to vary by locality, but most places are pretty tough on DUI/DWI.

    I wouldn't worry about having to pay for a license upon reisssue, that's really the least of your problems right now.

    Sorry dude.

    Djeet on
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    Chases Street DemonsChases Street Demons Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Man, don't have sympathy for him. This isn't the first time he got behind a wheel while drunk, and he'll probably do it again unless the punishment he gets actually hurts.

    I'd start trying to find out if your arrest jurisdiction seizes cars for DUI. It's a big thing on the east coast.

    Chases Street Demons on
    "Sometimes things aren't complicated," I said. "You just have to be willing to accept the absolute corruption of everybody involved."

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    ChellisChellis Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Well, from my research, a first offense runs from $390 to $1000 fine, with some other possible fines. Whereas I've seen getting a lawyer for this runs between $750 and $2000. It seems to me that unless I get hit with every available fine(which wouldn't make much sense to me, considering I plan on pleading guilty), it would be more expensive to get the lawyer.

    On the sorry part, I agree fully. I honestly didn't realize I was drunk when I drove(I had just woken up from a nap), but its still completely my fault.

    On the impoundment issue, the officer told me that he wouldn't get my car towed(and didn't), and he wanted to help me avoid additional fee's(such as paying for the officer's time, towing, etcetera).

    Chellis on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Chellis wrote: »
    Well, from my research, a first offense runs from $390 to $1000 fine, with some other possible fines. Whereas I've seen getting a lawyer for this runs between $750 and $2000. It seems to me that unless I get hit with every available fine(which wouldn't make much sense to me, considering I plan on pleading guilty), it would be more expensive to get the lawyer.
    How much is not having a car going to cost you?

    Thanatos on
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    SixSix Caches Tweets in the mainframe cyberhex Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Chellis wrote: »
    Well, from my research, a first offense runs from $390 to $1000 fine, with some other possible fines. Whereas I've seen getting a lawyer for this runs between $750 and $2000. It seems to me that unless I get hit with every available fine(which wouldn't make much sense to me, considering I plan on pleading guilty), it would be more expensive to get the lawyer.

    You will pay way more than just the fines in the long run. Have you thought about what this will do to your insurance, for instance?

    Get a lawyer.

    Six on
    can you feel the struggle within?
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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    That sucks dude.

    Get a lawyer.

    Deebaser on
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    DibsDibs Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Can you settle with a guilty plea for a lesser offense in Cali?

    Dibs on
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    ChellisChellis Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    @Thanatos: It seems like the DUI license suspension is unwavering, 4 to 6 months(I've seen both numbers). Also, I can walk to work, thank god.

    @Six: Same thing, I believe I'm going to be required to file SR-22's regardless, because of this.

    Chellis on
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    MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Dibs wrote: »
    Can you settle with a guilty plea for a lesser offense in Cali?

    I would hope not. This isn't a speeding ticket.

    MushroomStick on
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    SixSix Caches Tweets in the mainframe cyberhex Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you don't at least talk to a lawyer, you're making a very, very serous mistake.

    Six on
    can you feel the struggle within?
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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    In addition to fines there will be court fees.

    Some kind of deferred judgemnt could mean probation for some time interval and if you complete counselling and probation with no violations getting the charge dropped, with possibility of expunction of the arrest. It may or may not be important to you to have the arrest/conviction on your record.

    I'm actually surprised at the level of fines and license suspension you're quoting. It's much more harshly punished in Texas (Austin).

    Djeet on
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    CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Since you're in the bay area, you have a free option for some quick advice.

    http://www.kgoam810.com/goout.asp?u=http://www.kgoam810.com/sectional.asp?id=25969

    He's on from 12-1 weekdays and has a full length weekend program. People with DUI's call in occasionally, he'll be rough on you but his advice always seems sound.

    Cabezone on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you aren't posting help or constructive advice, you shouldn't be posting in this thread.

    Thanatos on
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    MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    A friend of mine had a dui a little over 10 years ago in the chicago area. His lawyer fees totaled somewhere around $7k and that got him probation for 7 years. My understanding is that this was getting off relatively easy. Forget about your cellphone bill or whatever. You need to worry about how things are going to be 10 years from now.

    MushroomStick on
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    OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I have a friend who had this happen. Here is advice:

    There are lawyers experienced in this. Find one. I live in a college town though. These kind of lawyers will usually do free consultations, you can find out their prices then. edit: He was quoted from $750 for an hourly person (total) and 1200-2500 by flat rate lawyers.

    In my state it is usually 6 months w/o license though you can get a restricted one for school/work. If you blew over .1 you get an interlock device or something. You have to blow into it to use your car.

    He blew .082 (limit is .08) and the DA instantly reduced the charge to Public Intox w/ the stipulation they attend a 48 hour weekend class. I guess the rest of the class has BAs of .15+ and had the full charge. Their insurance tripled, their fine was $1500 + court/tax and stuff.

    They'll probably require you to go get a consultation for a substance abuse evaluation. I have a counselor friend and we talked about this. They can recommend one of three things: in patient treatment, out patient and no treatment. She said that 95% of the recommendations from their come out being out patient treatment because that is how they make money.

    Also, sheesh, fuck the few judgmental voices above. You rightfully feel terrible about this, but you will be okay and it does not have to color the rest of your life. You don't have to reoffend, reminding yourself of that might help the guilt/anger at yourself.

    I've learned a lot of about this in talking about it with him. For instance the tests they administer in the field are sketchy as hell, he failed the test VERY BADLY apparently but was not nearly incapacitated. It was below freezing, icy and he was nervous. Once he blew a .082, he and the cop had a chat about how funny life was. Also the pocket breathalyzers react super strongly to you if you just stopped drinking. That is why they have to do ones back at the station that are much more accurate. He blew something like .15 which may have colored the cops view of the tests, then at the station was at the legal limit.

    edit again: He had 4 7% beers over FOUR hours without dinner. It doesn't take much to reach the limit. A lot of people don't realize that. I didn't. He got pulled over because he turned the wrong way on a one way and instantly swung around and got off it. A cop saw him and that was that. I've made that mistake sober on the same corner. So, don't kill yourself over this. You know it was a huge mistake and your penalty will suck but you will come out of it.

    OnTheLastCastle on
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    Ziac45Ziac45 Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    A family member and his girlfriend both got DUI's on the same night last summer. As I am in Maryland it may be different. Look into a PBJ its probation before judgement, all it amounted to was a 200 dollar fine and losing their licenses for three months. The girlfriend even hit a car and left the scene while drunk and got off with this. If you can get it (and I see no reason why you shouldn't be able to) it will save you money and pain, they both also did the Alcohol rehabilitation classes which may have had a factor. The classes ran them about 300 dollars, I think, but are probably a good idea.

    Ziac45 on
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    useless4useless4 Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Be open with your employer.

    I am surprised by how many people in H/A don't believe me when it comes to legal issues but DUIs (or anything above parking ticket) can fuck you when it comes to jobs.

    Big chains/businesses can fire people on the spot for less actually. Especially if it comes out in the open but not by the person admitting it up front.

    useless4 on
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    ChellisChellis Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I do want to mention, thank you all for your advice. It is helping, although I am still freaking out.

    Chellis on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    useless4 wrote: »
    Be open with your employer.

    I am surprised by how many people in H/A don't believe me when it comes to legal issues but DUIs (or anything above parking ticket) can fuck you when it comes to jobs.

    Big chains/businesses can fire people on the spot for less actually. Especially if it comes out in the open but not by the person admitting it up front.
    Your employer can fire you if you do admit it up front.

    Thanatos on
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    OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I don't see what business it is of your employers unless it is impacting your job performance. Your ability to show up to work is part of your performance.

    OnTheLastCastle on
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    SixSix Caches Tweets in the mainframe cyberhex Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I don't see what business it is of your employers unless it is impacting your job performance. Your ability to show up to work is part of your performance.

    Doesn't matter, they can certainly fire you for it.

    Six on
    can you feel the struggle within?
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    Big Red TieBig Red Tie beautiful clydesdale style feet too hot to trotRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    only chellis knows (or can surmise) what their boss might do

    if you have a good relationship with your boss and the DUI doesn't affect your job performance it would seem fine to tell them

    Big Red Tie on
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    Beasteh wrote: »
    *おなら*
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    zilozilo Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    California is an at-will employment state, they can fire you for any reason, or no reason. I'm pretty sure you're not legally bound to tell them anything though.

    zilo on
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    OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Six wrote: »
    I don't see what business it is of your employers unless it is impacting your job performance. Your ability to show up to work is part of your performance.

    Doesn't matter, they can certainly fire you for it.

    Yes, I know. They can fire you for about anything in the US. My point though is I wouldn't tell my employer as it is not their business.

    edit: So telling the OP to tell his boss is not good advice. If he has a personal relationship where that sort of thing can be shared, that's a little different.

    OnTheLastCastle on
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    Chases Street DemonsChases Street Demons Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    As much as I dislike the choice you made, your demeanor is doing you credit here. Remember that when you go to court, lawyer or no lawyer.

    Most big corps have a code of conduct which requires an employee to fess up for any arrest. Mine does. Action usually comes if the employee is convicted. Failure to report an arrest ALWAYS results in action here, regardless of conviction.

    I'll give you a real piece of advice in a different direction. Determine whether or not you have an addiction. I don't mean a Tiger Woods bogus addiction, but a real deal. If you do, go to AA and get yourself straight. Even attending a meeting on your own to determine where you fit with these others will help you figure it out.

    The only good news to come out of this is stuf you already knew; you didn't hurt anyone that night. You should consider yourself very lucky. Even a small fender bender would have meant a lot tougher row for you to hoe.

    Chases Street Demons on
    "Sometimes things aren't complicated," I said. "You just have to be willing to accept the absolute corruption of everybody involved."

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    Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    only chellis knows (or can surmise) what their boss might do

    if you have a good relationship with your boss and the DUI doesn't affect your job performance it would seem fine to tell them

    Really depends on the job I would guess, if you operate heavy equipment or drive a delivery vehicle then yeah, it's a bigger deal. Though if that were the case I suspect op would have mentioned it.

    To the OP, first thing, relax, it's ok. Yes you screwed up, but thankfully in screwing up you didn't hurt anybody and now you've learned a valuable, albeit expensive lesson. I haven't personally experienced a DUI but have friends and family who have. And what I can infer from their experiences is that you're only real option is to get a competent DUI lawyer, do you have family who can help you out in that regard? I wouldn't expect the DUI to disappear either (California municipalities need cash, and DUI's are great revenue generators), but a good lawyer should at least be able to make sure the court doesn't ream you either.

    Dark_Side on
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    SixSix Caches Tweets in the mainframe cyberhex Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Six wrote: »
    I don't see what business it is of your employers unless it is impacting your job performance. Your ability to show up to work is part of your performance.

    Doesn't matter, they can certainly fire you for it.

    Yes, I know. They can fire you for about anything in the US. My point though is I wouldn't tell my employer as it is not their business.

    edit: So telling the OP to tell his boss is not good advice. If he has a personal relationship where that sort of thing can be shared, that's a little different.

    Oh, I agree with you.

    Don't tell your employer unless you have to. Now, if your employee handbook says you need to report any convictions, well, then you may want to consider that and tell them. Many large employers require employees to divulge felonies, but not misdemeanors (which i believe this would be).

    I would keep this to yourself. (assuming your employer doesn't require you to tell them about this)

    Six on
    can you feel the struggle within?
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    Dropping LoadsDropping Loads Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    As much as I dislike the choice you made, your demeanor is doing you credit here. Remember that when you go to court, lawyer or no lawyer.

    Most big corps have a code of conduct which requires an employee to fess up for any arrest. Mine does. Action usually comes if the employee is convicted. Failure to report an arrest ALWAYS results in action here, regardless of conviction.

    I'll give you a real piece of advice in a different direction. Determine whether or not you have an addiction. I don't mean a Tiger Woods bogus addiction, but a real deal. If you do, go to AA and get yourself straight. Even attending a meeting on your own to determine where you fit with these others will help you figure it out.

    The only good news to come out of this is stuf you already knew; you didn't hurt anyone that night. You should consider yourself very lucky. Even a small fender bender would have meant a lot tougher row for you to hoe.

    You really need to get over the MADD crusade, as you're extrapolating a very projected event out of minimal information. Dude blew a higher number than he thought he would have in a situation where he chose to drive after waking up from a nap. That's a long jump to reckless drunk who's a danger to himself and others and must be stopped.

    OP, regarding employment, read the hiring paperwork you signed. There may be a substance abuse document, which likely applies only to on-the-job conduct. There may be a criminal activities document, which likely only applies to the time at which you were hired and does NOT require that you report anything after your hiring and probably doesn't require that you report an accusation in progress. If you have other resources you can turn to for cash for a lawyer, now's a good time to use that investment. Good luck.

    Dropping Loads on
    Sceptre: Penny Arcade, where you get starcraft AND marriage advice.
    3clipse: The key to any successful marriage is a good mid-game transition.
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    zilozilo Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    As much as I dislike the choice you made, your demeanor is doing you credit here. Remember that when you go to court, lawyer or no lawyer.

    Most big corps have a code of conduct which requires an employee to fess up for any arrest. Mine does. Action usually comes if the employee is convicted. Failure to report an arrest ALWAYS results in action here, regardless of conviction.

    I'll give you a real piece of advice in a different direction. Determine whether or not you have an addiction. I don't mean a Tiger Woods bogus addiction, but a real deal. If you do, go to AA and get yourself straight. Even attending a meeting on your own to determine where you fit with these others will help you figure it out.

    The only good news to come out of this is stuf you already knew; you didn't hurt anyone that night. You should consider yourself very lucky. Even a small fender bender would have meant a lot tougher row for you to hoe.

    You really need to get over the MADD crusade, as you're extrapolating a very projected event out of minimal information. Dude blew a higher number than he thought he would have in a situation where he chose to drive after waking up from a nap. That's a long jump to reckless drunk who's a danger to himself and others and must be stopped.

    Uh, not to be a dick, but breathalyzers are accurate to within 15-25% depending on who you ask. The OP blew 50% over the legal limit, he was quite definitely far too drunk to drive. And I don't think it matters much how drunk you think you are if you get into an accident and kill somebody.

    Chases Street Demons has a point, OP is rather lucky it's "just a DWI".

    zilo on
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    Dropping LoadsDropping Loads Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    zilo wrote: »
    ...snip...Chases Street Demons has a point, OP is rather lucky it's "just a DWI".

    Which is a point that many people have already made. Again, making an isolated poor decision != systematic addictive behavior. Acting like those are the same thing in the specific case of trying to help out a specific individual is specious. I stand by what I said.

    Dropping Loads on
    Sceptre: Penny Arcade, where you get starcraft AND marriage advice.
    3clipse: The key to any successful marriage is a good mid-game transition.
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    zilozilo Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    zilo wrote: »
    ...snip...Chases Street Demons has a point, OP is rather lucky it's "just a DWI".

    Which is a point that many people have already made. Again, making an isolated poor decision != systematic addictive behavior. Acting like those are the same thing in the specific case of trying to help out a specific individual is specious. I stand by what I said.

    And I reiterate that it doesn't take a "systemic" drunk to commit a prison-worthy crime. It just takes one stupid decision, which could have turned out a lot worse for the OP. It's definitely worthwhile to evaluate one's behavior when something like this happens. The guy's clearly remorseful, which is a good sign, but remorse is only useful if it prevents bad behavior.

    zilo on
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    CooterTKECooterTKE Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Get a lawyer no matter the issue of cost you will be better off.

    CooterTKE on
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    OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Pocket breathalyzers are not accurate. That is why they must do a blood, breath or urine test at the station. Their machines are accurate within .004 is their accepted level of deviation. This is the legal definition.

    OnTheLastCastle on
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    LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    IANyourL

    Money on a lawyer may or may not be money well spent. Consider one of those "we specialize in DUI" guys. The one in my town drives a red 'vette with a license plate that reads "NOT GLTY." Might do a free consult, might not, but he'll likely be able to tell you if there's any point in fighting it at all. Also, depending on jurisdiction, the prosecutor may or may not have any wiggle room on this, and the expert can tell you that. He'll know all the players and has done this a million times, and might be able to size it up in seconds, telling you that AA + Diversion + suspension will get you out or that you can't possibly get any leniency.

    Administrative procedures (license revocation) are goofy, but jurisdictions of size have a "what to expect when you're expecting to walk home" kind of pamphlet. Again, in some places there's almost no variability, others there might be some options.

    If you don't get a lawyer, make some calls and get the name of someone involved in the prosecutor's office and plead your case. I'd suggest in person, but I don't know your life. That prosecutor is the one that is going to make the sentencing recommendation to the judge, so making a personal play at the prosecutor is a good idea. This is his equivalent of the easiest, most annoying thing you do at your job, so its worth a shot making the "bad things happen to good people . . . I'm so embarrassed . . . can ya help a brother out?" move.

    I might suggest telling the prosecutor/judge that you're never going to have a sip again before getting behind the wheel, period. Unless you want to know how much worse a second is than a first, I might suggest that being true.

    LaPuzza on
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    soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    edit again: He had 4 7% beers over FOUR hours without dinner. It doesn't take much to reach the limit. A lot of people don't realize that. I didn't. He got pulled over because he turned the wrong way on a one way and instantly swung around and got off it. A cop saw him and that was that. I've made that mistake sober on the same corner. So, don't kill yourself over this. You know it was a huge mistake and your penalty will suck but you will come out of it.

    Just a bit further on this, Australia has a really nice labelling system of 'standard drinks' to help you keep track of your consumption, but it's easy enough to keep count of without the labelling - http://www.westernaustralia.com/SiteCollectionImages/StandardDrinksGuide.jpg

    A general guide is that males can handle 1 standard drink an hour, plus one extra standard drink in the first hour. Females don't get the extra standard drink. Consuming at that rate will keep most people below 0.05 (the australian BAC limit). We get this drilled into us in high school (one of the benefits of having a drinking age that coincides with the school leaving age).

    In the case above, he would have had 7-8 standard drinks in 4 hours, which is quite enough to be drunk.

    soxbox on
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