What to Know After a DUI: Classes, Probation, Rehab
A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrest is a life-changing event. Not only does it have legal consequences, but it can also affect your personal and social life. We explore some of the important things that you must consider after a DUI arrest so you can maintain your legal rights and protect your job, education, and more.
When Is a Person Charged With DUI?
In the state of Maryland, a person is charged with DUI if their blood alcohol level registers above 0.08, although a reading as low as 0.05 could warrant a Driving While Impaired (DWI) charge by the arresting officer. If you refuse to give a BAC test or take a test and fail it, the police officer will confiscate your license and assign you a temporary license while they prepare a case against you.
Charged individuals will have to seek professional legal help to defend themselves, and minimize the charges in a case of wrongful allegations. The court will then decide the appropriate punishment or penalty for the relevant case.
What Are DUI Classes?
If you have been arrested for DUI, it’s likely that you’ll have to attend DUI classes. These classes aim to educate individuals on the risks & consequences associated with driving under influence. They will also provide guidance on avoiding future DUI incidents.
DUI classes are designed to be educational and informative and are led by an instructor who will cover topics such as the impact of alcohol or drugs on driving ability and the consequences of a DUI conviction. These classes can include activities such as group discussions, personal reflection exercises and role-playing assignments.
These classes can differ in length depending on the state of the offense. Maryland has a 12-hour Alcohol Education Program that provides rehabilitation for individuals convicted of driving under influence. Other states can conduct these classes for several months, constituting multiple classes.
While the 12-hour class offered in Maryland is online, other states can offer the class in a traditional classroom style or provide individual counseling. Traditional style classes have been the norm for quite some time, and online classes are slowly becoming more popular. Individuals with severe addiction issues are, however, required to get one-on-one counseling from professionals.
Will I Have To Undergo Probation If I’m Convicted?
In addition to attending DUI classes, a convicted individual will also have to face probation. Probation is a suspension ordered by the court and the terms of probation can vary from state to state. The duration of probation can vary from one to three years, wherein an individual will have to adhere to certain conditions such as attending alcohol counseling, checking in with the probation officer, submitting random alcohol tests or completing community service.
If an individual fails to comply with the terms of probation, they will face legal action such as a fine, jail time or extension of the probation period. A violation can also result in a revocation of probation, where a person will be asked to serve prison as dictated by their original sentence.
Nonetheless, if you’ve violated your probation, it’s important to take immediate action and contact your probation officer. Depending on the nature of the violation, your probation officer will either report the violation to the court or give you a warning. It’s best to contact a DUI attorney in this case to understand the legal obligations and potential options to deal with the situation.
Is Rehab An Option?
A DUI arrest can be a wake-up call for some individuals to seek help regarding their alcohol or drug addiction. In such cases, a judge might order an individual to attend rehab as a part of their sentence. Rehabilitation, or rehab, is a program that helps addicted individuals deal with their addiction. And can include individual or group counseling, medical detoxification or support groups.
The length of this program can vary depending on the severity of the individual’s addiction or their progress. Notably, rehab is different from DUI classes in it addresses the root cause of the addiction and provides a way to deal with it, while a class only educates an individual to avoid DUI incidents in the future.
It is important to find the right rehab for you for a successful recovery. The program you choose must be tailored to your personal needs and can differ based on the addictions treated, the length and intensity of the program and the level of medical supervision. If you’re unsure yourself, it’s best to let a professional who is aware of your condition or a family member choose the program for you.
Impact Of DUI On Driving Record & Insurance
Being charged with a DUI can result in the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle and this device requires you to blow into a breathalyzer before you start a vehicle. If the device detects alcohol in your system, the vehicle will not start.
A DUI charge will also have a significant impact on your driving record and insurance rates. A DUI conviction will result in an addition of points to your driving record, and these differ from state to state. In Maryland, one can expect up to 8 points to be added and you often need a DUI lawyer to help you lower your points. In addition to this, a DUI charge will also result in a suspension or revocation of your driving license.
A DUI conviction can also result in an increase in car insurance rates. Insurance companies may consider a DUI charge as a high-risk behavior and might drop your coverage significantly. Some insurance companies can also demand a document that serves as insurance for proof of financial responsibility.
Being charged with DUI can have some serious impact on your driving record and insurance, in addition to affecting your personal and social life. It’s important to understand the potential consequences of a DUI charge and take necessary measures to prevent it.
If you still find yourself charged with a DUI, it’s important to seek professional help and hire a DUI attorney to help you navigate through the charges effectively. A professional attorney can help you reduce the consequence of your charges, and potentially prevent the suspension of your license.