TRAFFIC SAFETY - What will happen when you get your first DUI offense? Know what to do and not to do during an arrest and the right attitude to possess when a police officer asks you to pull over for a DUI allegation. Learn more about these things and more in the following.
(1) DUI arrest statistics in the USA
How many people are arrested in a year? Drunk driving has serious penalties attached to it.
However, it continues to become a huge problem in the United States.
But with the hopes that it won’t become an issue anymore, more measures to deter people from committing it are put into place. Despite that though, there are still alarming drunk driving statistics in the USA.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that 1.5 million people are arrested for DUI annually, either under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It goes to show that one out of every 121 licensed drivers commits a DUI.
While it’s illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol, for instance, many are still arrested for driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 08%+.
In addition to the statistics related to drunk driving, 772 drivers are arrested for DUI within two hours of a drinking session.
According to the NHTSA, about 1400 automobile accidents that involved deaths were due to a driver who has at least a DWI or DUI conviction. This figure was from data gathered in the year 2000, which accounts for 8.5 percent of all alcohol-related car accidents where there was a fatality.
(2) What you shouldn't do after DUI arrest
What you can’t do when you’re arrested?
- Don’t answer questions or engage the police officer in a conversation. He/she will ask about how much you had to drink as well as where you’re going and where you come from. Do not answer these questions because they can be used against you in court. The police officer will document your slurred speech or any odor of your breath.
- Do not argue with the officer.
- DO NOT lie to the officer. Instead, you should respectfully say that you don’t wish to answer any of the questions being asked.
- Don’t agree to any roadside sobriety tests. Remember that these tests are voluntary, so you can refuse them.
What kind of behavior is correct?
It can be a terrifying experience to be pulled over due to a DUI offense because it can be hard to recognize and know what to do if it is your first time. For this reason, it is best to consult an expert DUI law firm to help you understand what to do and what not to do. Moreover, there can be long-term consequences for your DUI offense, such as a DUI can stay on your record and causing difficulties for future employment and so.
For what to do during a pullover due to drunk driving suspicion, stay calm and do not panic. Be polite.
- When asked to pull over, slow down and stop.
- Park the car and set the parking brake before turning off the engine.
- Roll down the windows on both the passenger and driver’s side.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel.
- Give your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration to the police officer.
- If the officer told you to get out of the car, do it.
(3) The first offense of DUI punishment
Your first offense is a misdemeanor offense, so you will be punished with community service, fines, license suspension, or with possible probation.
However, there are some circumstances to change the nature and level of charge that might result in more penalties and sentences.
So for instance, if the police officer caught you with an open container, your fine or jail sentence could be improved while you may still be charged with a misdemeanor.
On the other hand, a few states will raise your charge instead of a misdemeanor to a felony offense regardless if you had or have not had a prior conviction for a drunk driving offense.
Aside from the criminal nature of DUI, it comes with an administrative aspect.
For example, your license will be automatically suspended in some states if you don’t agree to provide a breath test. It is another kind of suspension in addition to what is with a DUI conviction.
In terms of auto insurance and employment, the DUI charge can also affect them.
As employers are running background and criminal history checks, a DUI conviction is one of those that they will discover if you committed it.
Some of them do not employ people with DUI convictions because they perceive them as a safety risk. A few of them also think that the insurance rates could increase due to it.
More so, your auto insurance rates could go up with a DUI conviction because insurance firms can also perceive you as a risk factor especially if your offense is raised to a felony. Also, auto insurance might not cover your accident cost if you’re involved because of DUI.