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I fucked up, and got a DUI

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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.

    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.

    It's not a crusade. You're trivializing what happened here. So the OP gets drunk, takes a nap and then jumps in a car. What does that say about how much he had that after this big slice of time he's still blowing over the legal limit? Unless he got pulled over right outside his house there's likely 20-30 minutes of driving and "let me see your ID" time, as well as the unspecified amount of time spent in the nap. An hour? two?

    Here's the kicker - there's not a lot of metaphorical space between reckless drunk and leftover drunk making a bad choice. There's no talk about why the cop pulled him over in the first place. Speeding? Swerving? Blown stop sign?

    There's not a lot of unfounded extrapolation here. BAC metabolism rates are well understood and accurate enough to be used as evidence. This wasn't "I had three beers when I should have had two."

    These things matter when the OP considers whether or not he's going to retain a lawyer. There don't sound like there are are mitigating circumstances here which he could use to fight. Yeah, it's great that he didn't get into an accident and hurt someone, but it's not some kind of clearance of the events.

    OP's life is about to take a serious hit. DUI is no joke, and statistics have proven that most people caught in a DUI have driven drunk before the arrest - without being caught.

    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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    mcdermottmcdermott 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.

    It's not a crusade. You're trivializing what happened here. So the OP gets drunk, takes a nap and then jumps in a car. What does that say about how much he had that after this big slice of time he's still blowing over the legal limit? Unless he got pulled over right outside his house there's likely 20-30 minutes of driving and "let me see your ID" time, as well as the unspecified amount of time spent in the nap. An hour? two?

    Here's the kicker - there's not a lot of metaphorical space between reckless drunk and leftover drunk making a bad choice. There's no talk about why the cop pulled him over in the first place. Speeding? Swerving? Blown stop sign?

    There's not a lot of unfounded extrapolation here. BAC metabolism rates are well understood and accurate enough to be used as evidence. This wasn't "I had three beers when I should have had two."

    These things matter when the OP considers whether or not he's going to retain a lawyer. There don't sound like there are are mitigating circumstances here which he could use to fight. Yeah, it's great that he didn't get into an accident and hurt someone, but it's not some kind of clearance of the events.

    OP's life is about to take a serious hit. DUI is no joke, and statistics have proven that most people caught in a DUI have driven drunk before the arrest - without being caught.

    I've been in the same situation before. Took a "nap" (it was like 3 hours, it was my sleep for the night before work) and about halfway to work realized I probably shouldn't be driving. I have little doubt I was over the legal limit (though barely). I wasn't pulled over, so it all worked out I suppose...but I hadn't done it before, and haven't done it since. It was actually just a lesson learned about the ins and outs of driving in proximity to drinking for me.

    Anecdotal, lol, but not everybody is a statistic, in a manner of speaking.

    One of the biggest problems that causes DUIs is that once you're drunk you rarely make good decisions about whether you are too drunk to drive. Which is why before the first drink you need to have a clear plan of how you're getting home..."I'll figure it out later" or "maybe he'll let me crash" is basically saying "I'll probably just wind up driving drunk." Even having your car and keys available increases the odds of making a poor drunken decision substantially.



    As for advice pertaining to your specific situation, everything LaPuzza said. Even if it costs you a little bit, at least consulting with a lawyer is a fucking must. It will almost certainly pay for itself in either direct (reduced fines) or indirect (reduced length of suspension, etc.) benefits.

    And don't ignore that last bit about not wanting to find out how much worse the second hit is. It sounds like you've learned your lesson, and hopefully this one hurts just enough to make sure that lesson sticks...but no more. Good luck, man.

    mcdermott on
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    ChellisChellis 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.

    It's not a crusade. You're trivializing what happened here. So the OP gets drunk, takes a nap and then jumps in a car. What does that say about how much he had that after this big slice of time he's still blowing over the legal limit? Unless he got pulled over right outside his house there's likely 20-30 minutes of driving and "let me see your ID" time, as well as the unspecified amount of time spent in the nap. An hour? two?

    Here's the kicker - there's not a lot of metaphorical space between reckless drunk and leftover drunk making a bad choice. There's no talk about why the cop pulled him over in the first place. Speeding? Swerving? Blown stop sign?

    There's not a lot of unfounded extrapolation here. BAC metabolism rates are well understood and accurate enough to be used as evidence. This wasn't "I had three beers when I should have had two."

    These things matter when the OP considers whether or not he's going to retain a lawyer. There don't sound like there are are mitigating circumstances here which he could use to fight. Yeah, it's great that he didn't get into an accident and hurt someone, but it's not some kind of clearance of the events.

    OP's life is about to take a serious hit. DUI is no joke, and statistics have proven that most people caught in a DUI have driven drunk before the arrest - without being caught.

    At the time, I wasn't sure how long I had slept, as I had crashed on a friends couch, and was woken up when someone living there needed it to sleep. As far as I can tell now(dating back with texts, as I fell asleep right after sending a last one), I slept for about two hours. In terms of distance, I was driving less than a mile to my house, and got caught about half-way through.

    I got pulled over because I had forgotten to turn on my lights. I am of course biased, but to the best of my knowledge, I wasn't driving recklessly, and I parked fully legally in a parking spot when I got pulled over.

    I am considering getting a lawyer now(which will involve selling pretty much everything I can do without, and missing a semester of school to get more hours at work), mainly to see if I can get some sort of reduced penalties. I understand this won't disappear in any way, but hopefully a lawyer can help me mitigate these things. I did research, and found a well reviewed lawyer in my area who specializes in DUI law.

    I've never asked anyone to give me pity, or to make me feel better. I just want advice on how to make this the least hurtful to my life. I'm taking this incredibly seriously, not trying to feel like some victim except of my own stupidity and lack of conscious thought.

    Chellis on
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    Ziac45Ziac45 Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Chellis wrote: »
    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.

    It's not a crusade. You're trivializing what happened here. So the OP gets drunk, takes a nap and then jumps in a car. What does that say about how much he had that after this big slice of time he's still blowing over the legal limit? Unless he got pulled over right outside his house there's likely 20-30 minutes of driving and "let me see your ID" time, as well as the unspecified amount of time spent in the nap. An hour? two?

    Here's the kicker - there's not a lot of metaphorical space between reckless drunk and leftover drunk making a bad choice. There's no talk about why the cop pulled him over in the first place. Speeding? Swerving? Blown stop sign?

    There's not a lot of unfounded extrapolation here. BAC metabolism rates are well understood and accurate enough to be used as evidence. This wasn't "I had three beers when I should have had two."

    These things matter when the OP considers whether or not he's going to retain a lawyer. There don't sound like there are are mitigating circumstances here which he could use to fight. Yeah, it's great that he didn't get into an accident and hurt someone, but it's not some kind of clearance of the events.

    OP's life is about to take a serious hit. DUI is no joke, and statistics have proven that most people caught in a DUI have driven drunk before the arrest - without being caught.

    At the time, I wasn't sure how long I had slept, as I had crashed on a friends couch, and was woken up when someone living there needed it to sleep. As far as I can tell now(dating back with texts, as I fell asleep right after sending a last one), I slept for about two hours. In terms of distance, I was driving less than a mile to my house, and got caught about half-way through.

    I got pulled over because I had forgotten to turn on my lights. I am of course biased, but to the best of my knowledge, I wasn't driving recklessly, and I parked fully legally in a parking spot when I got pulled over.

    I am considering getting a lawyer now(which will involve selling pretty much everything I can do without, and missing a semester of school to get more hours at work), mainly to see if I can get some sort of reduced penalties. I understand this won't disappear in any way, but hopefully a lawyer can help me mitigate these things. I did research, and found a well reviewed lawyer in my area who specializes in DUI law.

    I've never asked anyone to give me pity, or to make me feel better. I just want advice on how to make this the least hurtful to my life. I'm taking this incredibly seriously, not trying to feel like some victim except of my own stupidity and lack of conscious thought.

    I really would not skip a semester of school for a lawyer. My family member was at I think .21 when he got pulled over as long as you didn't hit anything and sign up for alcohol education classes, or AA I think you'll get off with some suspended license time and a minor fine. IANAL however and maybe it is worth it to skip the semester.

    Ziac45 on
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    WileyWiley In the dirt.Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Six wrote: »
    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.

    You should get a lawyer, the expense you pay now will be worth it later. There may be a chance of a plea on a reduced charge, or the opportunity to have your record expunged after a probationary period. I don't know what your job is, but a DUI could seriously hamper your future employment prospects in many fields.

    Wiley on
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    WileyWiley In the dirt.Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Djeet wrote: »
    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).

    In Oklahoma you often get some jail time.

    Wiley on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If nothing else, it is worth consulting an attorney (even if you have to pay for the consultation.) I have a friend who works at a practice specializing in drunk driving (and some other minor criminal offenses), and while I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, there are a wide array of options depending on how much you had to drink and the circumstances of your arrest.

    A lawyer will be able to tell you whether the costs and benefits of fighting the charge are worth it to you in the long term. It might be more expensive than the fine do to so, but what is the price of a future criminal record?

    Also, the purpose of this thread is to provide advice to the OP, not moralize about drunken driving. Everyone including the OP recognizes he made a poor decision, that should be the end of that particular discussion.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    it was the smallest on the list but
    Pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
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    Amphetamine ParrotAmphetamine Parrot Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Howdy,

    In your case, I do not think you should go to the expense of getting a lawyer. DUI punishments are fairly standard and are almost always enforced uniformly regardless of circumstances. A lawyer can help you find a technicality to get you off, but that is a very long shot. Get a copy of the police report as soon as you can and look it over, see if any bit of it is inconsistent with how a DUI stop is supposed to be done. Its really your only hope.

    Someone recommended talking to the prosecutor. That is very good advice. It will also make a difference if you have a job, or own a house, or can somehow demonstrate that you are a good citizen and you have just messed up this one time.

    Also, just for everyone's edification, the intoxilyzer (the big breath unit at the station) is spot on accurate and is calibrated regularly. The hand held unit really only tells the officer that there is alcohol in the subject's system. This is useful in determining if the subject is under the influence of drugs other than alcohol.

    My credentials: I am a cop and have received a DUI years ago.

    Amphetamine Parrot on
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    Chases Street DemonsChases Street Demons Registered User regular
    edited August 2010

    I've never asked anyone to give me pity, or to make me feel better. I just want advice on how to make this the least hurtful to my life. I'm taking this incredibly seriously, not trying to feel like some victim except of my own stupidity and lack of conscious thought.

    (Cut text snippets)

    Yep, and as I already said, your demeanor here is already helping you quite a bit. If you are legitimately as interested in fixing this as much as you appear then the judge will see that. Most of us have gotten away with a serious mistake at some point; those that didn't aren't here because they got jail time. ;)

    Consult a lawyer but make your own determination as to whether or not they can help you. I don't know who you work for but if you're at a small to midsize business I'd say you're probably in the clear with not saying anything at all. If you're in a big business (read: big enough to have an HR department) contact the appropriate people or find an employee handbook to see what their policy is on arrests/convictions. Gotta keep your long term goals in mind here; do you want to stay with this company for the forseeable future? If you don't tell them and then they find out a year from now they might consider that grounds for termination.

    And again, if you don't think you have an alcohol problem then that's fine. But if you think you do then truck yourself off to AA or something similar. If you've got a problem you've got to get righteous again or you'll repeat this mistake and all kinds of super horrible things happen.

    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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    DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I was pulled over and was charged with a DUI as I blew a 0.82. I had ran a stop sign that, if I had not been a little buzzed, I still would have ran.

    Anyway, I was very complacent with the police officer and he didn't impound my car and actually drove me to my buddies house so that he could release me. I was 20 years old at the time and they took my blood (and would have found marijuana in my system, not that I was high at the time) so that they could, if I were to fight it in court, use it to convict me.

    So, I called a lawyer, it was the best thing I ever did. I paid him $1500 and my charge was reduced to reckless driving. Seriously, get a lawyer. A DUI on your record will come back on any criminal background check an employer will conduct. You do not want that on your record, it looks bad and can compromise a professional career.

    Get a lawyer. They know what they are doing. In fact, a lot of these defense lawyers are in cahoots with the prosecutors and will have more of a chance of talking with them and pleading your case than you could ever do by coming into their office and trying to apologize. You hire a lawyer to speak for you, and they know how to get charges reduced and have a lot more resources for doing this available to them. This is what they do. In the end, the state still gets your money because reckless driving fines are nothing to sneeze at. Mine was $900. I paid as a lump sum, but there are payment plans available.

    Seriously, get a lawyer. Do not represent yourself. It does make a difference and there is a very real chance your charges can be reduced.

    Demerdar on
    y6GGs3o.gif
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    DUI punishments are fairly standard and are almost always enforced uniformly regardless of circumstances.

    I don't know where you live, but in my state this is far from the case.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    it was the smallest on the list but
    Pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
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    DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Man, I wish all cars had a breathalizer in them that required you to pass before they started.

    NOT for the saftey of others on the roads. But for the saftey fo the guy who is at .085 and whos life gets totally f'd.

    .12 is a different story though.

    I just wish it was easier to know when you can legally drive or not. Because realistically, a lot of times I feel more impaired after 2-3 beers then I would at 6-7. Time is also a big factor. I honestly have no idea if id be legal to drive after drinking 8 beers over a 4 hour period then eating a pizza for another 40 minutes.

    I dont, I call a cab. My friends drive. Im also a dick driver if Ive ever had a beer and im driving. No music. No talking. We are driving.

    EDIT: I should probably invest in a breathlizer, it will probably save me money from cab rides in like 6 months use.

    Disrupter on
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    jefe414jefe414 "My Other Drill Hole is a Teleporter" Mechagodzilla is Best GodzillaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    DUI punishments are fairly standard and are almost always enforced uniformly regardless of circumstances.

    I don't know where you live, but in my state this is far from the case.

    Well here in Connecticut, the DMV and police department are separate entities. I knew someone who blew just over the draconian legal limit and went to criminal (police arrest for DUI) court - lawyer got him off with no charges. He didn't use a lawyer at the DMV court and the DMV suspended his license for 6 months and required classes to get it back (the classes cost something like $2K).

    jefe414 on
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    Nick SoapdishNick Soapdish Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Get a lawyer. Wear a suit or something nice to court. Be respectful to the judge and the officer. The important part is that you are taking it seriously, if the judge likes you and thinks you just made a mistake he will be relatively light on you. If he thinks you're blowing it off, well, you could get some jail time. Also, a lawyer will probably let you pay in installments.

    If this is your first offense for DWI (or really anything over some minor traffic violations) you will probably get off with probation and manditory alcohol counseling for a few months, a suspended license (you will probably be able to get that to turn into a work-restricted license if you have a lawyer), and fines. I wouldn't tell your job unless you think it will affect the job -- not having a license might, having to miss days for court / probation visits might.

    If you get a second one, you will probably have to serve some time, and it will screw your life up. Most states have gotten far more strict with their DWI laws over the last 5 years. You don't want a second one, so whatever you're doing with this situation my advice to you is not do drink and drive at all -- I don't mean "don't get hammered and drive", I mean if you have anything to drink you should probably let someone else drive or take a cab. It seems silly to say "one beer, don't drive", but as soon as you have one or two beers and drive, it'll eventually become three and four drinks and you "can still drive"... until you can have "a night of drinking and still drive fine" and eventually get you caught and REALLY screw your life up.

    Look at this as an expensive warning. You will probably spend around 3k+ on lawyers / classes / fines / DMV costs, and that's on a low end.

    Nick Soapdish on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Howdy,

    In your case, I do not think you should go to the expense of getting a lawyer. DUI punishments are fairly standard and are almost always enforced uniformly regardless of circumstances. A lawyer can help you find a technicality to get you off, but that is a very long shot. Get a copy of the police report as soon as you can and look it over, see if any bit of it is inconsistent with how a DUI stop is supposed to be done. Its really your only hope.

    Someone recommended talking to the prosecutor. That is very good advice. It will also make a difference if you have a job, or own a house, or can somehow demonstrate that you are a good citizen and you have just messed up this one time.

    Also, just for everyone's edification, the intoxilyzer (the big breath unit at the station) is spot on accurate and is calibrated regularly. The hand held unit really only tells the officer that there is alcohol in the subject's system. This is useful in determining if the subject is under the influence of drugs other than alcohol.
    I don't know why you would say any of this; I've never heard of a state where any punishments for anything are "standard" or "performed uniformly." You will pretty much always benefit from hiring a lawyer, and the majority of the time, being a "nice guy" and cooperating fully is just going to get you completely fucked in the ass. You have rights that protect you, and not taking advantage of those rights is like deciding to use the "I'll pull out... sometimes" method of birth control over a condom. I don't know why you would tell someone that that is a good idea.
    My credentials: I am a cop and have received a DUI years ago.
    Oh. Nevermind; it makes sense, now.

    Thanatos on
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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You need a lawyer.

    Don't know if it's been mentioned, but if you have no priors on your record you can often (with the help of a lawyer) get a "one time get out of jail free" pass and have an isolated incident placed on your juvenile record, and then that record is sealed, even if you're over 18.

    It happened to a friend of mine a few years back. He was 24, and he fucked up. It cost him about $1000 for the attorney and another $1000 in court costs and fees, but he has NO DUI on his adult record.

    Obviously this all depends on the state and the judge, but it's a possibility.

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    All this "get a lawyer" stuff goes double if you ever plan on working anything that's not blue collar (i.e. are you planning to be a retail monkey the rest of your life?) and triple if you're planning on doing anything that requires a professional degree or any sort of work in government or banking (i.e. lawyer, doctor, engineer, administrative assistant at any government office, etc.). Like amateurhour says, the difference between having a lawyer or not can be the difference between this being on your record and it being expunged, which, down the line, can mean tens of thousands of dollars in income a year.

    Thanatos on
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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    To put my earlier "get a lawyer" blanket statement into context:

    Don't get a lawyer cause you think they're going to: get you off on a technicality, get you off by challenging the validity of using a breathalyzer and the police's discretion to determine that you were impaired, get you off through some stunning legal defence that you were not impaired eventhough you were driving at night with your lights off and blew a .12.

    Do get a laywer because they can help you obtain leniency with the prosecution. If you think you can do this yourself you can certainly try. The advantage with specialized legal counsel (a DWI/DUI attorney) is that a good one has dealt with these kinds of cases, in this particular court, and likely with this particular prosecutor hundreds if not thousands of times before.

    Ideally, if you have representation, you never talk to the prosecutor. Your lawyer does, and comes to you with what your options are. It could be there's only one lesser option and otherwise it's no contest or "fight." But there could be a couple options that vary in the length of probation, amount of fines, counselling and community service lengths, what actually ends up on your record and whether or not there's the possibility of records expunction given additional nasal cleanliness and administrative hoops through which you jump. You choose the path that works for you and tell your lawyer, and all you say to the judge is yessir, nosir, I've learned my lesson sir, thankyou sir; you really don't want to be doing a lot of talking in a courtroom unless you are a lawyer.

    Djeet on
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    adytumadytum The Inevitable Rise And FallRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Where I live, it's impossible to talk to the prosecutor. He won't see you, under any circumstances. Only lawyers have that privilege.

    So if you want anything (plea bargain, etc.) other than pleading your case before the judge, you have to get a lawyer.

    Your jurisdiction may vary.

    adytum on
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    illigillig Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Another vote for lawyer - I'd you can't afford one, look into court appointed counsel - in most jurisdictions charges that can result in prison time or significant hardship (such as loss of license which may mean loss of job) a public defender will be appointed if you can't afford a private one.

    But with lawyers, as with most things, you get what you pay for.

    I was snagged for reckless driving in high school. In NJ this was one step below dui basically. I got a significantly reduced charge (careles sdriving) BC of my public defender. Based on experiences of friends with well off parents, I probably could've gotten off with even less if I had gotten a private lawyer that golfs with the judge and prosecutor every weekend...

    illig on
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    OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You guys are talking about a deferred judgment. I don't know if you qualify but a lawyer freaking will. You will not get one unless you get a lawyer.

    OnTheLastCastle on
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    CogliostroCogliostro Marginal Opinions Spring, TXRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    So as someone who works in emergency services, I want to personally thank all of you for teaching someone how to get out of a DUI charge instead of telling him... hey, maybe try not drinking and then getting behind the wheel of a 3 ton unguided missile.

    The next time it happens and he kills someone you can give him the name of a good lawyer who can get it reduced to aggravated assault or something. I mean, after all we wouldn't want someone to actually have to suffer the consequences of their actions... ho no no.. that would just be too much.

    This is one of the most disgusting threads I've ever seen on Penny Arcade.

    Cogliostro on
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    DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Honestly, I dont get all the flack drinking and driving gets. (to an extent)

    I mean, have you ever had 4 beers? Do you honestly think someone with a .082 blood alchohol level is dangerous? .12, I dunno, what thatd be about 6 beers? Yeah, Im pretty sure nobody is going to die because of that. Should you do it, no, no you shouldnt. But he didnt get completely smashed and go cruising.

    I dont drink and drive, but its soley because of the legal ramifications of doing so. Im 99 percent sure I can drive perfectly fine while over the limit, obviously if Im drunk, no. But I would never even consider doing so while drunk. To me its a silly law that needs to be tiered a bit more then it is. Having 6 beers and driving home is not the same as having 20 and cruising to the next bar. There is a BIG BIG difference between drinking and driving and driving drunk, one that the law doesnt really deal with.

    But none of that is important for this thread. The important part is, hes already expressed regret and isnt asking for help on not drinking and driving. Hes asking for help on dealing with the legal consequences. This isnt moral authority nagging forum, its the help and advice forum.

    "Dont drink and drive" is not exactly advice that will help him. Im sure he knows it, we all know it. Theres no help or advice in that statement, trying to help him not ruin his life based on one mistake is possible, however.

    Disrupter on
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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    One more thing. Usually, court works in two phases. There is a morning set of hearings for those that have an attorney present, and an afternoon set for those that don't, or vice versa.

    You want an attorney present because if you get lumped in with the non attorney crowd you're much more likely to get the hammer thrown at you, figuratively speaking.

    I know that sounds dumb, but it's god honest legal advice I was given when shopping for an attorney.

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Cogliostro wrote: »
    I want to personally thank all of you for teaching someone how to get out of a DUI charge instead of telling him... hey, maybe try not drinking and then getting behind the wheel of a 3 ton unguided missile.

    Because these things are mutually exclusive? Maybe he's already taken to heart the decision not to drink and drive.

    He could've hurt or killed someone. He didn't. Why not save your rage for someone who has? He made a mistake and hopefully he's addressing his own behavior and decision-making process. He asked for help navigating his legal situation and mitigating the damage this mistake is going to do to his life.

    Speaking down from your high horse to everyone trying to help him just makes you a prick.

    Djeet on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Hey, guys, that thing I said earlier about not posting in here unless you have help or constructive advice? That wasn't, like, a "just for that day" kind of thing.

    I just gave out the last minor infraction I'll be giving in this thread. So, unless you're being constructive, I suggest you either don't post at all, or go start a D&D thread about drunk driving if you want to talk about it or judge people for it as if you've never made a mistake in your whole fucking life.

    Thanatos on
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    OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    One more thing. Usually, court works in two phases. There is a morning set of hearings for those that have an attorney present, and an afternoon set for those that don't, or vice versa.

    You want an attorney present because if you get lumped in with the non attorney crowd you're much more likely to get the hammer thrown at you, figuratively speaking.

    I know that sounds dumb, but it's god honest legal advice I was given when shopping for an attorney.

    Yeah, the first court date is just the arraignment. It is like a lawyer meeting. You don't have to attend that. Huzzah for friends in law school!

    This absolutely carries many, many thousands of dollars worth of penalties if you take the normal no lawyer route. Insurance alone will be a nightmare.

    OnTheLastCastle on
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    3drage3drage Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You really need to be asking these questions to an Attorney. If you cannot afford one you can have a public defender pick up your case. Do so.

    3drage on
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    DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Thanatos wrote: »
    All this "get a lawyer" stuff goes double if you ever plan on working anything that's not blue collar (i.e. are you planning to be a retail monkey the rest of your life?) and triple if you're planning on doing anything that requires a professional degree or any sort of work in government or banking (i.e. lawyer, doctor, engineer, administrative assistant at any government office, etc.). Like amateurhour says, the difference between having a lawyer or not can be the difference between this being on your record and it being expunged, which, down the line, can mean tens of thousands of dollars in income a year.

    I just want to expand on this a little. Multiple government positions I've applied to specifically had sections that automatically denied your application if you were ever charged, not even convicted, with a DUI. Which is why a lawyer trying to get you a different charge is completely worth it.

    DeShadowC on
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    streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    chellis, obviously all states are different. A friend of mine got a DUI leaving a bar she worked at. She wasn't over the limit by more than what you were. Her penalty was no driving for a few months (except for "approved" driving: driving for work or school or 'family errands'--essentially she could get away with driving at any point as long as it wasn't to/from a bar for personal drinking)

    That was with some REALLY basic free legal counsel from her roommates boss (a lawyer).

    Call some lawyers and be up front. "I have no money at all. I'm hoping you can give me a quick consult and tell me the odds."

    Be cautious: many lawyers will assume you can give them a thousand bucks if they just scare you a little, so try 2 or 3 lawyers.

    streever on
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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    One more thing. Usually, court works in two phases. There is a morning set of hearings for those that have an attorney present, and an afternoon set for those that don't, or vice versa.

    You want an attorney present because if you get lumped in with the non attorney crowd you're much more likely to get the hammer thrown at you, figuratively speaking.

    I know that sounds dumb, but it's god honest legal advice I was given when shopping for an attorney.

    Yeah, the first court date is just the arraignment. It is like a lawyer meeting. You don't have to attend that. Huzzah for friends in law school!

    This absolutely carries many, many thousands of dollars worth of penalties if you take the normal no lawyer route. Insurance alone will be a nightmare.

    Well, to be clear, SOMEONE needs to attend your arraignment. If you have an attorney they can go. You can also sometimes reschedule with the clerk. But if you just don't show up the judge is going to issue a bench warrant for you.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
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    OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    One more thing. Usually, court works in two phases. There is a morning set of hearings for those that have an attorney present, and an afternoon set for those that don't, or vice versa.

    You want an attorney present because if you get lumped in with the non attorney crowd you're much more likely to get the hammer thrown at you, figuratively speaking.

    I know that sounds dumb, but it's god honest legal advice I was given when shopping for an attorney.

    Yeah, the first court date is just the arraignment. It is like a lawyer meeting. You don't have to attend that. Huzzah for friends in law school!

    This absolutely carries many, many thousands of dollars worth of penalties if you take the normal no lawyer route. Insurance alone will be a nightmare.

    Well, to be clear, SOMEONE needs to attend your arraignment. If you have an attorney they can go. You can also sometimes reschedule with the clerk. But if you just don't show up the judge is going to issue a bench warrant for you.

    You're absolutely right, but I think we've all been clear that he either must hire a lawyer or have one provided by the state. In that case, he wouldn't have to attend.

    OnTheLastCastle on
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    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    DeShadowC wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    All this "get a lawyer" stuff goes double if you ever plan on working anything that's not blue collar (i.e. are you planning to be a retail monkey the rest of your life?) and triple if you're planning on doing anything that requires a professional degree or any sort of work in government or banking (i.e. lawyer, doctor, engineer, administrative assistant at any government office, etc.). Like amateurhour says, the difference between having a lawyer or not can be the difference between this being on your record and it being expunged, which, down the line, can mean tens of thousands of dollars in income a year.

    I just want to expand on this a little. Multiple government positions I've applied to specifically had sections that automatically denied your application if you were ever charged, not even convicted, with a DUI. Which is why a lawyer trying to get you a different charge is completely worth it.

    Some companies, if they're in "high-risk" industries -- like say, if you work for a shipping company, work with heavy equipment, or do shift-work in a refinery -- even scan for charges/convictions entered into public record. You're not just disqualified from the white collar jobs. There's a fair number of blue collar jobs that you'll have issues with as well. You don't want the DUI on your record. It's worth the money.

    GungHo on
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    LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    3drage wrote: »
    You really need to be asking these questions to an Attorney. If you cannot afford one you can have a public defender pick up your case. Do so.

    Make sure you find out EARLY if this charge even qualifies for a PD. The charge has to meet minimum standards before you are entitled to use tax dollars for your defense.

    LaPuzza on
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    PerpetualPerpetual Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    OP wrote:
    I voluntarilly took the breath test, cooperated fully with the police, and was at 0.12 BAC when I was arrested.

    Yep, that's where you fucked up. I mean, besides the whole driving while drunk part.

    Contrary to popular belief, "cooperating fully" with the police doesn't earn you any bonus goodwill points. They're trying to bust your ass and you're just making their jobs easy. Next time this happens, do not volunteer to take the fucking breath test - tell them that you want the test taken at a nearby hospital. Those are more accurate and your BAC will go down a bit while you're being taken to the hospital.

    Or better yet, do not drive while drunk from now on.

    Perpetual on
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    ChellisChellis Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Except I would have still been drunk, still gotten a DUI, and the cop would probably have gotten my car towed and written me up to pay for his time because I made his job difficult. They also treated me relatively well in the police station, which helped because I was sort of freaking out.

    Chellis on
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    FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    OP wrote:
    I voluntarilly took the breath test, cooperated fully with the police, and was at 0.12 BAC when I was arrested.

    Contrary to popular belief, "cooperating fully" with the police doesn't earn you any bonus goodwill points. They're trying to bust your ass and you're just making their jobs easy. Next time this happens, do not volunteer to take the fucking breath test - tell them that you want the test taken at a nearby hospital. Those are more accurate and your BAC will go down a bit while you're being taken to the hospital.

    Depending on your state, simply refusing the breath test may have consequences of its own.

    Fats on
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    cabsycabsy the fattest rainbow unicorn Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Fats wrote: »
    Perpetual wrote: »
    OP wrote:
    I voluntarilly took the breath test, cooperated fully with the police, and was at 0.12 BAC when I was arrested.

    Contrary to popular belief, "cooperating fully" with the police doesn't earn you any bonus goodwill points. They're trying to bust your ass and you're just making their jobs easy. Next time this happens, do not volunteer to take the fucking breath test - tell them that you want the test taken at a nearby hospital. Those are more accurate and your BAC will go down a bit while you're being taken to the hospital.

    Depending on your state, simply refusing the breath test may have consequences of its own.

    Last I knew, in Indiana at least refusing to take a breathalyzer means you are ticketed and charged as a DUI and you get to spend the night in jail. You do have a right to refuse but in some states it is definitely not at all worth it. And cooperating fully can get you "bonus points," generally police are more receptive to asking the judge to reduce charges or writing you a lower ticket if you're honest and cooperate. There's not a lot of letting you off with a warning you can do if you're driving intoxicated but being a dick just to be a dick provides no benefits to an interaction with police and can be detrimental.

    Also for future reference, driving at night with your headlights off will always get you pulled over under suspicion of DUI if a cop sees you.

    cabsy on
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    ChellisChellis Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I'm well aware, I'm notoriously bad at turning my lights on at night, sober or not. I've been pulled over for it before while sober. My car has very dim lights, so I often don't realize they're off on city streets.

    Chellis on
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    jedikuonjijedikuonji Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Chellis wrote: »
    I'm well aware, I'm notoriously bad at turning my lights on at night, sober or not. I've been pulled over for it before while sober. My car has very dim lights, so I often don't realize they're off on city streets.

    I've been ticketed for the same thing before as well. After it happened, I taped a note to the middle of my steering wheel to remind me to turn on my lights. Helped get me in the habit quick too because I always felt a little dumb looking at that note, especially if I had someone else in the car.

    jedikuonji on
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