6 - Take a breath, blood or urine test if one is offered. When your driver's license was issued, you agreed to take such a test if you were ever pulled over. It's called the Implied Consent Law and even if you don't remember agreeing, you did. If you don't take the test, your license will be suspended for a minimum of one year, even if you are not convicted of DUI. If you take the test and the reading is greater than .08%, your license will be suspended from 30 to 90 days.
After the investigation on the street, the officer will usually take you to the station or to a testing site. Some cities will offer you a blood test, others will offer a breath test. If your test shows your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be less than .08%, you may not be charged. If you are, you might be able to later have the case dismissed. If your BAC is .08% to .14%, you will be charged with DUI, and DUI with a BAC over .08%. If your BAC is .15% or more, you will be charged with DUI, DUI with BAC over .08%, and Extreme DUI.
7 - After completing the test, the officer may give you a form that asks whether you want to preserve a sample of your test or waive a sample. NEVER waive! Always ask that a sample be preserved if you are given that choice.
8 - As soon as you are released, go to a hospital, a lab, or call your doctor to arrange to have your own test done immediately. If that test shows a lower BAC, you can use it in your case. If the level is the same or higher, you need not provide that information to the prosecutor.
9 - If you don't want to lose your license, ask for a hearing at the Motor Vehicle Division within fifteen days. The officer will give you a form when he or she takes your license. This Admin Per Se/Implied Consent Affidavit has a paragraph telling you how to request a hearing.
If you are charged with DUI, you are not required to have an attorney. In some cases, a court will appoint one for you. At any stage in the process, you might choose to hire an attorney to help you with your case. If you understand intoxilyzers and how they operate, you can handle the case yourself. If you can interview police officers and question witnesses at trial, you can handle the case yourself. Or if you just feel better walking in and pleading guilty, you can handle the case yourself.
10 - If you decide to hire an attorney, find one who has experience with DUI cases. Hire a qualified attorney you trust, an attorney you meet in person at your first consultation. A good attorney will personally appear in court on your behalf, interview the officer, gather records, prepare motions, and negotiate with the prosecutor. A good attorney will keep you informed about the progress of your case, but don't expect a daily call! Beware of attorneys you don't meet until your first day in court or who aggressively go head to head with the prosecutor during pretrial negotiations. You need an advocate who won't alienate the other side and paint you into a corner.
Note: All fines and sentences mentioned herein are subject to change without notice.