Holidays are great times to relax. But a little too much relaxation mixed with some alcohol and added to driving a vehicle can be a bad cocktail. The result is holiday celebrations can end with a stay in the county jail for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). I have defended DUI cases for 25 years and Labor Day, the accepted “end of summer” holiday, seems like a good time to list of the realities of and the law pertaining of a DUI conviction:
- If you’re under the age of 18 the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) is .02%. That is barely more than one good sized beer for the average person. Over the age of 18 is .08%;
- If you’re charged with DUI, you will be locked up in jail for at least 4 hours if not more before you go to court (unless you are injured in an accident and must go to the hospital);
- If arrested, odds are you will spend $300.00- $500.00 to post bail;
- If you refuse to permit your blood to be drawn, it is highly likely that officers will seek a search warrant that will allow the police to hold you down and take it by force (you will lose that battle in the emergency room);
- If you are sentenced to jail in Wilson, Smith, Macon or Trousdale Counties, you will serve your sentence in the regular county jail, not in an alternate facility;
- DUI convictions that involve any alcohol (as opposed to medications) will require an interlock device to get a restricted license. This device is sometimes difficult to use and will cost at least $100.00 per month for monitoring, plus installation fees;
- If you have had a prior DUI conviction in 10 years and you are arrested for a new DUI, you will only be released if a transdermal monitoring device that checks for alcohol is attached to your ankle. It makes it hard to get dates, keep jobs, will rub your skin, and it cost over $100.00 per week;
- Many employers who provide vehicles have contracts with their insurers to not have any employees with DUI convictions, which could result in lost job opportunities or losing your current job;
- Your insurance will go up, a lot;
- Having a prescription for the medication you are accused of driving under the influence of is not a defense;
- DUI convictions never go off your record and, for at least 10 years, they will make any future DUI arrests and convictions much more harmful and disruptive to your life;
While my law firm certainly specializes in defending alcohol related driving offenses, (DUI, vehicular assault, vehicular homicide) I would prefer for you to enjoy your holiday, your family, and little rest from your labor.
We’ll be closed on Monday for Labor Day. If you are enjoying a long weekend, too, I hope you will be safe, enjoy yourselves, and be blessed!
In defense of the citizen accused,