There are a few things that you should know if you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
First, the laws on this crime differ from state to state. New Jersey’s laws ARE NOT the same as Pennsylvania’s laws and so on, through all fifty states. Indeed, the name itself can be different. Some states call it Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and others call it Driving while intoxicted (DWI). Because of these differences, accepting blanket advice from diverse people over the internet IS NOT a good idea! You really need to know what the law is in the state you were arrested in before you decide how to deal with the situation.
For example, many states have what are called implied consent laws involving Breathalyzer or other testing to determine blood alcohol content (BAC). In these states, if you refuse to submit to BAC testing, you could have your license suspended.
Many states also have reciprocal agreements with other states with respect to DUI laws. For example, a Pennsylvania resident convicted of DWI in New Jersey could have his PA license suspended because of the conviction.
Most states impose mandatory minimum sentences on the defendant convicted of DUI. That means the judge has no choice but to impose a JAIL sentence. The length of the sentence is determined by the number of times previously the defendant has been convicted of this crime.
Many states have pre-trial programs for first time offenders. In these programs, a judge will place an offender on pre-trial probation. If the offender successfully conplies with probation (i.e. goes to rehab, does community service, pays restitution, pays fines, etc.), the case will be dismissed and there will be no conviction.
A criminal conviction should have a serious negative impact on your life. It could keep you from getting jobs, going to college or getting into the service.
Much as many of us hate the thought of needing an attorney, there are times when consulting one is a good idea. Particularly when you are involved in a criminal case, you need an attorney to help you get through it. So go get one. And, if you can’t afford one, the court will provide one for you.