There are some important things you can and should do to protect your future. But as we give you this advice, we also want to emphasize just how dangerous drunk driving actually is — and how unacceptable your decisions were.
You say you had “some drinks” but that it was “nothing crazy.” That’s not a wise way to think about drunk driving. The fact of the matter is that even just one drink can affect your ability to drive as safely and as carefully as you should. The law sets certain levels of intoxication as unacceptable, but even legal amounts of alcohol can impair our driving.
The safest and most responsible thing to do is to stay completely sober if you plan to do any driving. Remember, “buzzed” driving isn’t any different than drunk driving. Even if you were below the legal limit — and frankly, it does not sound like that was the case — you should have taken your responsibilities on the road more seriously.
This is not your friends’ fault, either. They were wise to not get in a car with you. Trying to figure out directions is something we all have to do sometimes, and your failure to drive safely while doing so was almost certainly related to your level of intoxication. And once you were pulled over, the charge you ended up with was inevitable.
The charge you’re facing is, of course, for drunk driving. In your state, it seems, this charge is a DUI. This is the same charge that other states may call a DWI or a OUI. Some states have separate charges for different types of intoxication and related offenses. But the bottom line is that you yourself seem to be conceding that you drove drunk, so you deserved this charge.
Drunk driving accidents kill 29 people per day in the United States. You need to look carefully at your lifestyle and make more responsible decisions going forward. With all of that said, you can and should protect your legal rights in the meantime. With the help of a qualified attorney, this charge could serve as a valuable learning experience rather than a seriously damaging part of your permanent record. Notice that we said “with the help of an attorney.” You need a DUI lawyer, and you need one as soon as possible. Only a qualified attorney can help you mount a proper defense against the charge or charges that you’re facing.
In the meantime, don’t volunteer information and don’t speak to the police any more than you already have. Talking to the police virtually never helps defendants and suspects, and you’re unlikely to be any exception to the rule. So just rely on that lawyer to communicate with the police and prosecution on your behalf.
You have a lot of rights as a defendant in the American legal system. A good attorney will help you use those rights to your advantage and limit the serious fallout that a charge like this can have on your future reputation and career prospects. Invest in legal representation right now. Let your lawyer guide all of your future legal decisions, while you spend some time thinking about your future personal decisions.