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DUI and young people: The damage a DUI can do to your record

You're young, but you are over the legal age to drink. You decide to go out with coworkers and have a night on the town. In your mind, there's little that could go wrong, but that's where you've made a mistake.

While you expected to feel intoxicated after a while, you didn't think you'd be in an intoxicated state while driving home. It was such a short distance, you thought to yourself that you'd be able to get home just fine. The trouble is that you weren't right, and an officer saw you narrowly avoid getting into an accident.

After being pulled over, you realized the serious trouble you could be in if you're not cautious. You agree to take the breath test because of the requirement by law and so that you don't automatically lose your license. Your blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent, just enough to result in a DUI.

What should you do now?

You may know that a DUI could seriously affect your future at this point. You could lose your job, be unable to participate in social events, lose your home when you can't work, go to jail or face other penalties. The best thing you can do is to think methodically about the next steps you take. Don't admit to being too intoxicated to drive in the hope that the officer will spare you. It's in your interests to stay quiet until you speak with your attorney.

Many DUIs can be challenged, which is good news for you. To start with, your attorney will want to look at how the traffic stop occurred and make sure there was reasonable cause to pull you over. An officer doesn't have a right to pull you over if you haven't done anything wrong.

Next, your attorney will review your blood alcohol concentration, the tests and how they were performed. Did you fail roadside sobriety tests? Was the blood alcohol concentration on the borderline? These are important questions that could help find a way to defend your innocence or get the charges against you lowered or dropped completely.

Finally, your attorney will want to make sure the crime lab still has the results of the test, such as blood taken at the hospital. If there is no evidence on hand, it's much easier to make a deal with the prosecution or to have the case dismissed in court.

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