What to Do (And Not to Do) After A DUI Arrest

December 22nd, 2023 by Attorney Dan Carman

KY Traffic Offense Lawyer

You never know what to expect when a police cruiser’s lights appear in your rearview mirror. What might initially seem like a minor inconvenience during a routine traffic stop can quickly lead to an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI).

A DUI conviction often attracts huge consequences. Even for the first offense, a person may face jail time, community service, and fines. It’s important to employ every available means to get yourself out of such situations quickly.

Keep in mind that a police officer begins to assess your conduct from the moment they ask you to pull over. Everything about your driving behavior, including stopping abruptly, choosing an unsafe spot to pull over, or being hostile, etc., will be evaluated. These observations may be used against you and spun to incriminate you later.

No driver anticipates a DUI arrest. However, it’s best to be prepared to avoid unknowingly performing actions that may further complicate an arrest for intoxicated driving. This article discusses what to do (and what not to do) after a DUI arrest.

What Must You Do After a DUI Arrest to Help Your Case?

What happens after a DUI arrest significantly depends on the immediate and prompt actions you take to help your case. Here are effective best practices to help you navigate the legal processes effectively:

Document Everything about Your DUI Stop

Legal actions depend heavily on the details. So, recording everything you can remember about the arrest, even if it seems insignificant, can be helpful. It is best to do this as soon as you can to avoid forgetting the details of the incident.

Ensure to document the following:

  • Where you were and what you were doing before you were stopped
  • When and where you were stopped
  • The reason the officer gave for the stop
  • What questions you were asked, and what answers you provided (especially those regarding what you had to eat or drink)
  • What tests were done (eye tracking, walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, breath test, etc.)
  • At what point you were told your Miranda rights (right to remain silent, right to an attorney).

Find Witnesses

Anyone who saw you immediately before, during, or right after the stop can help your defense. People tend to forget things quickly, especially if they don’t know it might be necessary. Therefore, obtaining witnesses’ statements early is essential. In fact, an alibi witness who had not been drinking can make the difference between a guilty verdict and a non-guilty one. Moreover, even witnesses who had been drinking may prove to be credible.

Consult A DUI Lawyer

The best action to take is to hire a qualified DUI attorney. DUI laws are full of nuances and complexities, and DUI cases involve a lot of science. Partnering with a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer enables the formulation of a solid defense based on the circumstances of your case. It also helps you to avoid indulging in actions that may compromise your defense.

What To Avoid After A DUI Arrest To Help Your Case

Avoiding specific actions can prevent further incrimination after a DUI arrest. Here are a few notes to keep in mind:

Do Not Post about Your Case on social media

Resist the urge to share your DUI case on social media. At a minimum, be sure your online profiles are marked as private. Don’t give prosecutors any evidence that could be spun to make you look guilty.

Presented out of context, photos and posts can be quite incriminating. Refusing to post about your case on social media ensures that you don’t say anything that alienates you from anyone who tries to help you – especially potential alibi witnesses.

Do Not Drink Alcohol

It may seem like overly cautious advice, but staying away from liquor while your case is pending can only help the outcome be in your favor. At a minimum, do not drink publicly to distance yourself from any hint of the irresponsibility that comes with drinking and driving.

Do Not Drive with A Suspended License

While it is your right to refuse to take a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine to determine your blood alcohol content, doing so doesn’t usually work in your favor.

Regardless of how the prosecution later uses that refusal, it serves as the basis for a suspension of your license for 30 to 120 days for the first offense and 12 to 18 months for the second offense. You may also lose your license for 24 to 36 months for the third offense and 60 months for the fourth and subsequent offenses.

Even if you have to get to work or a doctor’s appointment, you are not allowed to drive during a suspension. If you violate the suspension, you can damage your DUI case. Instead, work with your attorney to appeal the suspension and have someone else drive you where you need to go.

How Can A DUI Lawyer Help You?

PPartnering with a DUI defense lawyer for your case will guide you on the right legal steps.. It will also ensure you obtain an effective legal representation that increases your chances of winning.

Here is how an experienced DUI lawyer can help you:

Timely Legal Advice

A knowledgeable DUI lawyer understands the intricacies of the law and will advise you on strategic actions based on the circumstances of your case. They will explore the various options to handle your case and identify the most beneficial action for you.

Filings, Evidence Gathering and Negotiations with The Prosecution

An adept DUI lawyer will file motions and gather ample evidence to support your defense. They will also harness their negotiation skills to help you achieve a favorable outcome with your case, including a reduced charge or a complete dismissal of your case.

License Retrieval

Your license may get suspended after a DUI arrest. In such cases, an experienced lawyer may present evidence proving your license should not be suspended or revoked. Your attorney may also negotiate with the court and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to reduce or void your license suspension.

Identify Loopholes in The Prosecution’s Case

The prosecutor is required to present evidence that proves beyond reasonable doubt that you were guilty of DUI. If your attorney can identify errors and inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case, your case may be dismissed.

An experienced attorney will examine the facts of the prosecution’s case and identify loopholes. They may also present evidence contradicting the prosecution’s evidence to dismiss your charges.


Here are answers to your most frequently asked questions on what to do and what not to do after a DUI arrest.

How Long Do Most DUI Cases Take? 

Typically, DUI cases often take between two and six months, depending on the complexity of the case. Factors that may complicate and delay your DUI case include past convictions and refusing a breathalyzer.

What Is the Most Common Sentence for A DUI?

A first-offense DUI is often classified as a misdemeanor, attracting between six months and one year of jail time. However, the duration varies from state to state.

What Is the Punishment for DUI in Kentucky?

Kentucky imposes a 30- to 120-day license suspension after a first DUI arrest; 12 to 18 months for the second offense; 24 to 36 months for the third offense; and 60 months for fourth and subsequent offenses. Other penalties may include a mandatory drug and alcohol abuse treatment and community service.

How Long Does It Take for A DUI to Come Off Your Record in DUI?

A DUI conviction typically stays on your driving record for ten years in Kentucky. However, it is noteworthy that a DUI conviction stays on your criminal record indefinitely unless the court expunges it.

If you’ve got more questions or need further clarification on what to do (and what not to do) after a DUI arrest, contact our team. We are ready to provide further clarification on other questions you may have.

Obtain Effective Legal Representation with Our Experienced DUI Lawyers

Knowing what to do (and what not to do) after a DUI arrest ultimately impacts the outcome of your DUI case. Be sure to document everything about your DUI arrest, find witnesses, and consult an experienced DUI lawyer.

At the Lexington, KY-based Carman Law Firm, we are a team of knowledgeable lawyers experienced in the intricacies of DUI cases. No matter the nature of your DUI case, our team will help you build a strong defense that enables a favorable outcome. We have the resources, experience, and knowledge to navigate the circumstances around your case, provide timely legal advice, and build a strategy that increases your chances of winning.

If you have been charged with DUI or have questions about how the law might apply to your situation, discuss it with one of the attorneys at the Lexington, KY-based Carman Law Firm. As criminal defense attorneys with years of experience, we offer thorough, experienced representation. Call us today at (859) 685-1055 to find out how we can help you.

Attorney Dan Carman

Attorney Dan CarmanFocusing on criminal matters, Mr. Carman is admitted to practice law in all Courts of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. He is a member of the American, Kentucky, and Fayette County Bar Associations. Mr. Carman also worked as a prosecutor, as well as a legal assistance attorney. Attorney Dan Carman can help you with any criminal defense matters you may need including; DUI, drug, and weapons charges, trespassing, traffic violations and more. [ Attorney Bio ]