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First Steps to Take After a DUI To Protect Yourself

One of our Maryland DUI attorneys discusses the important steps one should take after a DUI stop or charges in order to protect oneself from a possible DUI conviction.

What Are Some First Things a Person Should do After Getting a DUI?

Obtain Experienced Counsel

The first thing that any individual should do after they’ve been charged with a DUI is obtain counsel immediately. When I talk to my clients immediately after they’ve been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, or any related charge, I try to make sure that they recognize that there are certain things that they need to do in order to protect themselves.

Enroll in an Alcohol Education Program

One of the most important things that anybody needs to do when they are charged with a DUI is get themselves enrolled in an alcohol education program. Alcohol education programs are not the same as AA meetings. AA meetings are Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and would sometimes be a component of those alcohol education programs. Alcohol education programs are designed to explain to an individual why driving under the influence is dangerous, how alcohol affects perceptions on the roadway, and how it can impact their driving.

These classes are important for a couple of reasons. The first is to address any issues an individual might have. Any problems that they might have in terms of drinking and controlling their own alcohol intake. Secondly, the classes are really to make the court aware of how seriously an individual is taking the situation when they have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Being charged with an offense like this is a serious situation, but it’s not one that people always take the necessary steps to demonstrate to the court that they’re taking it seriously.

One of the best ways to do that is to get enrolled in an alcohol education program immediately because a judge will be eager to see when you enrolled in alcohol education programs. If it was right after the incident took place, then it will send a message to the court of just how seriously you’re taking the situation.

Different Types of Alcohol Education Courses in Maryland

There are various types of alcohol education courses. We get asked this question quite a bit because people aren’t always sure what kind of a program they should sign up for. Particularly because there is a lot of different information out on the internet about what classes might not be appropriate. What we always tell people is, it doesn’t matter what state you live in–as long as you attend a state-certified alcohol education program, you will be doing what is satisfactory for the court in terms of getting some kind of alcohol education completed.

Selecting the Right Alcohol Education Program for You

The most common types of alcohol education programs are ones that last somewhere between 12 and 26 weeks in length. Usually with an equal number of hours, 12 to 26 hours or so in total, of alcohol education. They address all kinds of things from how much alcohol is too much alcohol to be consuming when you’re behind the wheel of a car, how it impacts an individual and their driving, and how long it takes for your body to actually metabolize alcohol. So it reviews those kinds of things.

Most judges in Maryland have their favorites that they’re familiar with. A defense attorney who knows their jurisdiction well will know which alcohol programs in a particular county a judge has deemed to be the most respectable. The judges have the most experience with seeing members of the court or criminal defendants coming in with completion certificates from those particular programs, so they have their own opinions about which ones are reputable and which ones are not.