Being charged with a DUI is no laughing matter. As this is a serious offense that could have life-threatening consequences, lawmakers ensure that those who violate this law are justifiably punished for it. First offenders can easily spend thousands of dollars in fees, penalties, and insurance costs. The best advice we can give when you've been hit with a charge as serious as a DUI is to learn from your mistake the first time.
Looking to improve your driving record and become a safer driver? There are a few steps you're going to need to take. Below are a few things to consider:
1. Handle the Legalities
Unlike other traffic violations, a DUI will result in an automatic arrest until you've been released or someone can come get you. Your vehicle will likely get impounded along with driving restrictions such as a suspension. So the first thing you want to do to improve your driving reputation and become a safer driver is to handle the legalities.
Pay your fines – You typically receive fines for a DUI. This may not only include the cost of the violation, but the cost of appearing in court and any legal fees. If your DUI resulted in an accident, you may also need to pay an insurance deductible to compensate for damage to property or any individual you may have harmed while driving. Find out what each of these fees are and pay them to avoid more fines or subsequent charges later on.
Consult with an insurance provider – Did the judge order you to obtain SR22 insurance documents? This is typically a requirement for high-risk drivers with repeat traffic violations such as DUI or driving without insurance. If you need to obtain this document, you'll need to search for an insurance provider who offers this. Without this documentation, driving is illegal and could result in further violations should you be pulled over by police.
2. Practice Responsible Drinking
There is nothing inherently wrong with consuming moderate amounts of alcohol…the problem arises when you get behind the wheel of a car after having too many drinks. To prevent being charged with a DUI in the future it is a good idea to do all of the following:
· Know your limits – You know when you've simply had too much to drink. Try to limit the amount of drinking you do in public to prevent the need to get behind the wheel while under the influence. At the very least, you should look up your state's legal blood-alcohol limits.
· Have a Designated Driver – We don't always drink with the intention of getting drunk, but even buzzed driving could be enough to cause an accident or get you arrested. The safest method when you're going to a function with alcohol would be to have a designated driver in mind. There are also several national designated driver programs you could contact to get you home safely.
· Find Other Means of Transportation – If you don't have any friends that refrain from drinking, then the next option would be to find another means of transportation. Calling a taxi or Uber driver is an easy option that will get you door-to-door service.
· Give it Time – If you're under the influence of drugs and alcohol, the only way to sober up is to give it some time. Staying the night at a friend's house or at the very least waiting a few hours at a bar or nightclub can help you sober up so that you have a clear mind before getting on the road.
In most cases you don't set out to get so wasted that you're unable to operate your motor vehicle, but it can easily happen. Drugs and alcohol affect everyone differently and you can never be sure how even small amounts can hinder your ability to drive. Rather than put yourself and others at risk and ruin your driving record, it is imperative to practice responsible drinking in public.