Everyone makes mistakes every now and then. Some mistakes don’t have long-lasting consequences. One mistake that can have long-term penalties, however, is driving home drunk.
If you are out drinking with the guys, hopefully you took the time to find a designated driver or to come up with a plan for getting home. If you didn’t and find that you can’t get home unless you drive, you might be in for a long legal journey.
There is almost nothing that makes your heart drop into your stomach like seeing the flashing lights of a police cruiser behind you when you know that you are likely going to face legal troubles. From the time that you see those lights, you need to start thinking about your defense.
Underage vs. of legal age
One thing that has an impact on the consequences you face is your age. If you are under the legal drinking age, you will likely face some serious penalties. The blood-alcohol concentration percentage for underage drivers is only .02 percent. This is a big difference from the .08 percent that is the limit for people who are 21 or older. This means that you can face a drunk driving charge for having hardly any alcohol in your system.
Possible defense strategies
There are a few different defense strategies that you might be able to use when you are facing a drunk driving charge. The reason you were driving drunk might be a consideration. Other considerations include what BAC you had and when the sample was taken relative to when you were pulled over. The officer’s actions and a host of similar factors can also come into the picture. Any possible violations of your rights might also be included in your defense strategy against the charges.
Penalties vary greatly
When you face a drunk driving charge, you are looking at a six month driver’s license suspension. If your BAC is over .15 percent, the driver’s license suspension is indefinite. This is also the case with DUIs that occur after the first conviction. On top of this, you might find that you are facing fines, incarceration and other penalties. Ignition interlocks and increased insurance payments might also be ramifications you have to deal with.
Ultimately, the defense you choose has to be personalized to the circumstances of your case. You have to think about possible administrative penalties, as well. All of this comes together to develop a comprehensive defense plan for your case.