Getting arrested for any crime can be confusing and scary, and this becomes even more complicated if you are not your normal self due to drugs or alcohol. It can feel like a nightmare, and, for many people, it becomes a life-changing event. The arrest process is a series of events that leads to the trial phase, and here is a rough idea of what you can expect during this chaotic time of your life.
It is a common misconception that you have to fail the breathalyzer test in order to be charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (commonly called a DUI). This myth probably gets a lot of drivers in trouble, since they mistakenly believe that they will not be charged if they pass the breathalyzer test. The truth is that you may still be charged for DUI if you pass, as long as you display some other form of evidence to the officer that you were impaired due to drugs and/or alcohol.
At The Station
This may sound like an old police movie, but being taken in for booking, questioning, and at least an overnight stay can be traumatic for some people. Here is just a glimpse of what will happen, although not necessarily in this order:
- Fingerprints taken. These stay on your record for the rest of your life in most states.
- Picture taken. Everyone makes fun of most “mug shots”. You are at your worst, your most vulnerable for sure, and taking a picture is the last thing that you want to do.
- BAC determined. The police will want a more accurate representation of your actual blood alcohol concentration for the record. In most cases, this is accomplished through a breath or blood test. Test results are normally admissible as evidence in court.
- Booking. Your license or other identification is copied into your file, along with a lot of other personally identifiable information. You will feel like you are signing away your rights, and in some ways, you are, at least temporarily.
- Attorney contact. At some point during the arrest process, you will be given the opportunity to contact your attorney or request a court-appointed one.
- Bail. In some cases, you will be allowed to post bail and be released until your trial date.