Receiving a DWI can be a life-changing experience. At a minimum, you might get your license suspended. More than that, you might face serious fines, jail time, and even loss of employment. Knowing the first actions to take upon receiving a DWI helps you navigate all of this.
Don’t Drive Home
Whether you get released immediately after your charge or you have to spend the night in jail to sober up, don’t drive yourself home. Call a friend or family member, take the bus, or arrange for your rideshare. In many cases, your license is suspended immediately after a DWI charge. Driving home on your own can mean risking another charge.
Acquire Your Court Date
Prior to leaving jail, you will receive a notice about your court date about the DWI charge. Don’t blow this date off, forget it, or lose it. Make sure you record that specific date in several places. Let your employer and anyone else you are supposed to see that day that you can’t make your appointments.
Figure Out How to Get Around
When awaiting your court date, you probably won’t have your license. You might be able to get a hardship license to drive to work and school. Otherwise, you’ll need to get rides from someone else, use public transportation, or start using Uber or Lyft on a regular basis. You might even just ride a bike or walk when you can.
Get Ready for Court
What is going to be required of you will depend on how you plead. If you intend to plead guilty, just dress well and bring the necessary documents. If you intend to fight the charges, then you have a lot more to do and should have legal representation. Whether it’s a firm like Brooks Law Group or another set of attorneys, DWI lawyers can help you recollect the events of the night and arrange for witness testimony in your defense.
Inquire About SR-22 Insurance
Many state DMVs mandate high-risk drivers to get an SR-22 endorsement to their vehicle liability insurance. Even with a suspended license, you should start talking to your insurance agent about it. It’s good to know in advance how high your premiums are likely to get and how long they will be that way.
There Is More
Once you appear in court for your DWI, you’ll have other things to follow through on, perhaps including requirements such as classes or probationary periods. Professional guidance can make getting through all this easier to do.