If the police give you a DUI ticket, you may be worried and confused. You are right to be concerned — it is a serious charge with severe consequences.
Yet, there is no need to be confused. There are a lot of misconceptions about DUI charges, so knowing the facts is essential.
Three things everybody should know about drunk driving charges
First, you can still get a DUI charge, even if you blow under the 0.08 BAC limit. Think of the breathalyzer test as one of the tools the police have at their disposal rather than the only way they can charge you. Remember that the limit is lower for drivers under 21 years of age and commercial drivers.
Second, there is always a chance of overturning a DUI charge. For example, you can contest the circumstances of the traffic stop or the validity of the breathalyzer reading.
The third common misconception is that it is not worth contesting the charge because it is “just a traffic ticket.” The secondary consequences of a DUI conviction are considerable and can cause your problems long after you have dealt with the considerable penalties a court can give you.
Why fighting a drunk driving charge is important
One consequence of a drunk driving conviction is that your vehicle insurance premium will rise. You may have to pay a further 53% compared to if you did not have a drunk driving conviction. Your premium will remain high for several years, making driving a car much more expensive. If you pick up further traffic tickets, it could raise it even further — and your license could be at risk.
Another consequence is that a criminal record can make it harder to get jobs, housing or even education. Some DUIs will be easier to fight than others. Find out about the DUI defense options available to protect your future.