Getting arrested for a DUI (also known as a DWI, OWI, or OUI) can be a confusing and difficult process. There are many uncertainties regarding what will happen to your driving privileges, the steps you’ll have to take to legally drive again, and how it can affect other aspects of your life.
In order to ease some of this uncertainty, we have decided to come up with a list of what you can expect to happen after getting arrested for driving under the influence. While each DUI case will vary based on your specific offense and the state you are charged in, the following list of items will occur in a majority of drunk driving cases.
With all of that said, here are 7 things you can expect after getting arrested for a DUI.
1. You may be taken to jail
Once you fail your field sobriety or breathalyzer test, the first thing you can expect is that you won’t be driving home from the situation. You will likely be arrested on the spot and booked at the police station. Depending on the state, your vehicle may also be impounded after you are arrested.
Depending on the drunk driving laws where you were arrested, you may have to pay bail to get out of jail before your court hearing. In some states, you may be released shortly after being processed. Other states, on the other hand, have begun adopting rules that require someone to pick you up, or for you to become completely sober before being released.
In most cases, the jail time served at the time of your arrest will be the only time you will serve. However, if you have previously been arrested for drunk driving, you may be required to serve more jail time.
2. You will be summoned for a court appearance
You will have the chance to defend your DUI charge in court, either pleading guilty or not guilty depending on your specific case and the evidence presented against you.
Although you can handle your arraignment/hearing on your own, we recommend always having professional legal representation for all other court proceedings. A good legal team can reduce and prevent further penalties against you. If you attempt to fight or plead not guilty to the charges against you, the prosecutor may choose to show dash cam footage or present other embarrassing evidence against you.
There are some defenses that have reduced the charges for cases of drunk driving. A common way your legal defense may reduce your charges is by entering a plea deal for reckless driving, known as a “wet reckless”, which carries a lower penalty. Usually, these reduced charges will also include the requirement of an ignition interlock device to be installed in your vehicle.
3. Your license may be suspended
In most cases, your license will be suspended due to your drunk driving charge. After your arrest, you will most likely be issued a temporary license that expires on the date of your court hearing.The length of your driver’s license suspension will vary based on where you were arrested and what your specific offense is.
Your suspension may also vary based on whether or not you were convicted of driving under the influence by the court. If you refused a breathalyzer test when arrested, your license may be suspended for a longer period of time then if you had complied with the officers' orders. Most states have laws requiring people to take these tests, and impose strict penalties for refusing. For this reason, it is always advisable to take the field breathalyzer test.
In some cases, you may be able to regain temporary driving privileges during your suspension by applying for a restricted license. A restricted license (also referred to as an occupational license, ignition interlock driver license, and monitoring device driving permit) allows you to drive your vehicle under specific conditions and timeframes.
4. You’ll have to pay fines and fees to the state
Usually, there will be at least one fine you will have to pay for your DUI. Fines will vary based on what your specific charge was and where you were arrested. Not complying with all orders from police at the time of your arrest, such as refusing a breathalyzer test, can result in larger fines.
Fines from a drunk driving arrest can increase if someone was injured, property was damaged, or a child was in the vehicle. These factors can also affect how you are charged (misdemeanor or felony). For more information on how much you will have to pay in fines and fees for your DUI, check out our Ultimate Guide to Costs of a DUI
5. Your automotive insurance may go up
A drunk driving arrest can also affect your various types of insurance. At a minimum, most people arrested for drunk driving see an increase in their car insurance. However, your insurance company may drop you entirely after a drunk driving arrest, which means you may need to find a new provider. In some cases, a drunk driving arrest may also cause your life insurance rates to rise as well.
Once you go through the court process for your drunk driving offense, you may have to acquire a special insurance policy, known as SR-22 insurance. SR-22 insurance verifies that you have liability insurance and is required in almost every state. You will generally need to have SR-22 insurance for at least 3 years.
6. You may have to attend an alcohol evaluation and/or a DUI class
One of the requirements you may have to fulfill in order to regain your driving privileges includes attending an alcohol evaluation or a DUI class. In some cases, you may have to attend both of these after a DUI.
7. You may have to install an ignition interlock device
All states have some sort of ignition interlock law for drunk driving offenses. An ignition interlock is a device installed in your vehicle that ensures that the driver (you) are sober while operating the vehicle. If the device detects that you have consumed alcohol recently, it will prevent the vehicle from starting. The length of your ignition interlock requirement will vary based on the charge of your offense and where you were arrested.
If you are required to install an ignition interlock device (IID), you can download and complete the IID Program Application Form below to begin the ignition interlock installation process.
Complete IID Application Form
How Intoxalock Ignition Interlock can help
If you are arrested for driving under the influence, your location and state DUI laws will play a role in the requirements you must meet after your arrest.
If you need to have an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle to regain your driving privileges, call (855) 531-5244 today! Intoxalock offers affordable ignition interlock pricing and has the most installation locations throughout the U.S., providing you with the most convenient ignition interlock experience possible!