Becoming A Responsible Homeowner

Can't Remember What Happened After Being Pulled Over For A DUI? Here's A Refresher

Sometimes, people take chances and drink and drive repeatedly because they've never been pulled over before. Then, when they see the flashing lights behind them after a night out on the town, they feel their world come crumbling down. After all those times getting away with it, they may feel like it's finally time to pay the piper… so they plead guilty at their arraignment, post bail and wait for the hearing for their sentencing.

Unfortunately, this usually happens fairly quickly, while the individual is still intoxicated. Sometimes, this leads to confusion as to what happened between being pulled over and being released. If this is something that you've recently gone through and are currently waiting for your court date, here's a quick refresher as to what happened during those confusing hours.

  • Took field sobriety tests—You may have been asked to walk a straight line with the heel of one foot touching the toes of your other foot. Another test you may have done involves standing on one foot while reciting the alphabet. You may remember the police officer shining a bright light into your eyes, which is done to check for involuntary jerking of the eyes. You failed the field sobriety tests and were taken to jail.
  • Given a breathalyzer—At the police station, you were given a breathalyzer to determine your blood alcohol content. This reading of this device told the officer that you were over the legal limit of intoxication for driving. In some states, there are separate levels of intoxication. You may have been booked with a heftier charge if your BAC was high. For example, in WV, anyone over a 0.15 BAC is charged with aggravated DUI. In most states, 0.08 is the legal limit. After getting the reading, you will be booked and taken to jail.
  • Went to an arraignment—At the arraignment, the charges were read to you and you were asked whether you plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. You were also told how much bail it would take to get out of jail.
  • Posted bail—You either posted bail yourself, called a bail bondsman and gave him or her 10% of the bail amount, or called a friend to do it for you on your behalf. If a bail bondsman posted bond, you may have had to sign over some property if the judge gave you a high bail amount. See this page for more information.
  • Got car out of impound—When you were arrested, the police officer called to have your vehicle towed to an impound facility. You had to pay to get your car out of the impound lot. Hopefully, by the time this happened you were already sober enough to drive.

Your memory should be a bit clearer from this point forward. You probably headed home to recover from your time in the slammer. Hopefully, you used that time to gather your thoughts to come up with a game plan. One of the first things you should've done after getting released was to call an attorney to represent you. Of course, lawyers cost money so you probably had to try to come up with a way to pay the lawyer's retainer and other legal fees.

If you had signed over your real estate property to the bail bondsman, you may not be able to refinance your home to pay for the retainer. You can't count on the money you paid to the bail bondsman, because what you paid to him or her is his fees for posting the rest of the bail amount for you. If you paid the bail yourself, you will not see that money again until after your sentencing if you are found guilty or after your trial if you are found not guilty.

Getting pulled over by the police usually isn't too big of a deal, unless it's because the officer suspects drinking and driving. If you've been arrested for a DUI, you probably have little-to-no recollection of what happened after your arrest. Hopefully, this article refreshed your memory.