After a few drinks, you’re feeling a bit buzzed. You figure it’s safe enough to drive home since you’re not drunk. After all, why pay for a taxi when you think you seem fine to do so?

Wrong.

You can easily get caught drinking and driving from check stops or not realising you’re more buzzed than you seem, so an officer pulls you to the side.

As soon as you see those blue and red lights, take that as the signal to figure out what you should do now that you’re caught and prepare to call for an impaired driving lawyer.

Checking the Amount of Alcohol

A breathalyser test is the first thing you must do once you step out of your vehicle. If you try to refuse a breath test, it can have serious consequences – it’s why it’s best just to do it.

When you blow into this device, it shows how high your blood alcohol concentration is. The prohibited blood alcohol concentration is 80 milligrams or more (mg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres (ml) of blood. If your blood alcohol exceeds the prohibited amount, you most likely have failed your breathalyser test.

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In which case, you’re heading down to the police station for further alcohol testing. First, they will give two more breath samples for you to supply. If both indicate you’re 40% over the limit, you will be given the option to provide a blood or urine sample. It’s important to note that all these samples conducted can be used as evidence – for better or worse.

Understanding Levels of Offence

So, you have failed all the tests given.

Naturally, you can expect consequences like getting arrested and charged for drinking and driving. In these scenarios, you can end up getting bailed out. However, you will have to attend court at a later date. From there, depending on the laws in your area, you may face more penalties depending on your offence level.

Beyond your blood alcohol level, part of what factors into the penalties for your offence depends on where it was your first or a repeated violation and whether you have caused bodily harm or death to another person.

In these cases, it can end up with higher fines to pay, having your driving licence revoked, and possibly facing a few years in prison.

Consider Impaired Driving Rights

It’s already bad enough being caught drinking and driving. However, there are ways to help yourself. That’s by being aware of your rights. When arrested for drinking and driving, expressing your right to speak to an impaired driving lawyer would be in your best interest. If an officer infringes on those rights, the results of the following breath tests can be excluded and potentially lead to an acquittal of your charge.

In addition, an officer can’t pull you over randomly based on a hunch over another crime that has nothing to do with drinking and driving. For instance, they cannot stop you randomly if they believe you are concealing drugs or weapons or involved in another crime without any facts or evidence to back themselves up. If they end up charging you for drinking and driving after smelling your breath instead, it is possible to exclude the evidence and get the charge dismissed.

Also, remember that an officer can’t arrest you based on a failed roadside test. Why is that? A fail needs to be registered on a properly functioning roadside screening device. In this case, it indicates there is no evidence that it was potentially working properly. These can seem unreasonable grounds for getting arrested if a faulty device shows a ridiculously high blood alcohol concentration. Therefore, it can help exclude any subsequent breath test results.

Dealing with the Consequences

At this point, finding yourself a good impaired driving lawyer is best. Depending on your offence, you will need to defend yourself in court and eventually deal with the consequences afterward. Beyond the potential jail time and fees, you will end up with DUI that will show up on your criminal record. Depending on where you live, some laws will have a DUI left on your record for years.

The DUI can have long-term consequences, such as:

  • Find employment
  • Travelling outside the country
  • Applying for immigration
  • Being able to drive

Due to the seriousness of drinking and driving offences, being caught can seriously impact your life. However, there are laws in place that can help in your favour to defend against any potential charges. Hopefully, you won’t have to know and simply continue to drive safe and sober.

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