You have a few drinks at the bar, but you drive yourself home anyway. You decide that it’s not too far and you haven’t had too much alcohol. As you’re driving down the road, you see blue lights flashing behind you. You’re busted.
So what happens when you get a DWI? Keep reading to find out! Do you need alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC? If so, call us today! Legacy Freedom of Wilmington is your best option for getting sober.
Getting Busted for DWI
The name of the charge varies by state, but “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) or “driving under the influence” (DUI) is a serious offense. A police officer will pull you over if your driving is impaired. He or she could also pull you over for something as simple as a headlight being out, but then find that you smell of alcohol.
If you take a breath test and the officer finds that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit of 0.08, you can be charged, even if you don’t appear drunk and you pass field sobriety tests.
A DWI and DUI charge is generally a misdemeanor, not a felony, unless other people were injured or killed as a result of your drunk driving. If you have an especially high BAC, you had your license revoked previously, or this is not your first offense, you could be charged with a felony.
After your arrest, you will have to go to court to be arraigned, where you are formally charged. You must state if you are guilty or not guilty. You don’t have to have a lawyer with you, but if you choose to plead not guilty and want to seek a trial, you will probably need one.
Penalties for a DWI and DUI vary among states but can result in you losing your license or having it suspended. You will have to pay fines and court fees. You may be put on probation and have to do a certain number of hours of community service. In some cases, you may even serve time in jail.
Some states have diversion programs for first time offenders. If you’re eligible, you can enroll in the program, and once you complete it, the charges may be dismissed. The conditions of the programs vary depending on the state. Some have fees that must be paid as part of the program’s requirements, but it can be worth it to keep a DWI or DUI charge off your record.
If you’re charged with driving while under the influence, in addition to paying court fees and possibly losing your license, there are other consequences. Your car insurance rates will go up. Your conviction could affect your current job or future employment if it involves driving or having security clearance. If you plan to go to college or enroll in a professional education program, it could make it more difficult to be accepted.
A felony DWI and DUI is much harsher. You will lose your right to vote, purchase a gun or get a passport. You may also be barred from getting governmental assistance.
Seeing those blue lights flashing in your rearview is just the beginning. Think about that the next time you decide to drive after you’ve had a few drinks.
Dependable Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Wilmington NC | Legacy Freedom
Is your drinking getting out of hand? Is it affecting other parts of your life? If you want to stop feeling as if you’re spiraling out of control, give us a call so you can get on the road to recovery. We’re here to help you take the first step in getting your life back. We know there’s not a single plan that works for everyone. That's why we personalize our substance abuse treatment services to meet your needs. Call us today to learn more about our holistic programs for drug and alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC!