I love March the 17th! St. Pattie’s Day! Green Beer Day! Professional Drinkers’ Day! My mother’s birthday! What do all of these days have in common? They are all the same day….and…. a lot of people drink too much on that day. …and then drive.
Driving Under the Influence used to be a Big Ol’ Ticket. The cop would take you to the municipal “drunk tank” and let you sit overnight. You’d go home with a ticket and be told to pay it or set it for trial. You’d go see the judge on your court date. He’d chew your butt! Shake his finger at you! Threaten you with jail! Then he’d make you pay a fine and send you home.
Now you must decide, at the scene of the crime, if you should blow in the machine or refuse. You try to do the Standard Field Sobriety Tests and, even if you pass them, you might still get arrested. If you refuse to blow in to the machine, your driver’s license is suspended right then and there. You’ll end up on the cover of “Jailbirds” in the convenience store. If you had a glass of wine with dinner and you choose to blow in the machine, you might be over the legal limit and get arrested.
DUI is now a Big Deal!
We read an article a few years ago (please don’t ask for a cite, I don’t remember where I read it) that said a first time DUI will cost you about $4500.00 if you add up the attorney’s fees, the fines, the court costs, the costs of the classes and traveling back and forth to them, the time lost from work and the DPS fees and costs. Don’t forget that you car insurance premium will probably go up. You might lose your job entirely. Some employers’ insurance won’t let them keep a person convicted of DUI on the job. And that was a few years ago. It is probably more expensive now.
Now you don’t have to hire an attorney for your first DUI, (that really depends on where you have to go to court, call 236-1800 for details) but I strongly recommend it. How your first “little” DUI is handled might impact you for the rest of your life. If I do a good job for you on your first “little” DUI, then you might even wonder why you hired me. Hopefully, you’ll say to your self, “ That was no big deal. I didn’t need him.” If you say that, I have done my job well.
Nowadays a DUI conviction can make the difference as to whether or not you get that “good” job or have to settle for a crappy one for a while. Your criminal history really affects EVERYTHING nowadays. I recently had to help a client clean up his record so that he could coach elementary school age children in a church basketball league. Didn’t see THAT one coming.
FREE LEGAL ADVICE (Worth at least $850.00):
1. Don’t drink (anything, not even one beer) and drive a car or motorcycle. You’ll smell like alcohol and nothing you say will keep the police from believing you’re really drunk.
2. If you do drink, don’t drive. Call a cab. Call a friend. Call your parents. (Yes, your parents. They love you.) If you think, “I can make it,” you are taking a HUGE risk. Not a little one. I don’t mean that you might kill someone, although that is a distinct possibility. No, I mean you are risking your career, your marriage, your bank account, and your freedom. Yes. It is a big deal.
3. Unfair fact #3684: Everyone who drinks alcohol has driven after drinking. In Oklahoma, the legal blood alcohol content for driving must be under .08. That allows you only 8% of your blood may be alcohol. That is not very much. For the average man and woman in our state that means you are illegal behind the wheel of a car if you’ve had two (2) beers, OR two (2) glasses of wine OR two (2) shots of whiskey. Remember those wedding toasts? The ones you followed by leaving, getting in your car, and driving home? DUI. Remember the beers you had at your buddies house after you two worked on his car? It was August! It was hot! If you drove home, DUI. How about finishing up the lawn, drinking a couple of cold ones, taking a shower, and then going to pick up your favorite date? Most likely DUI. Folks, it don’t take much.
4. Finally, if you decide to drink and drive, and you get stopped: remember what a friend of mine called my “chorus”: Don’t admit nothing and keep saying, “I want my attorney!” 236-1800. 236-1800. 236-1800. Say it loud, say it proud: I want my attorney!
Robert B. Carter, Attorney at Law
WE HELP GOOD PEOPLE
WHO FIND THEMSELVES
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