Getting arrested for DUI over the weekend can be tricky, seeing as most courts (and most lawyer's offices) are closed.
But even if you do get busted for drunken driving on Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday, don't panic. Here are five legal tips for dealing with weekend DUI arrests:
1. Do Not Resist Arrest.
Fighting with officers, either verbally or physically, will not convince them to let you off for DUI. If anything, it will add resisting arrest to your list of charges. More charges also means higher bail.
You'll have plenty of time to fight the charge with your lawyer, so don't worry about getting in your two cents to the local PD.
2. Try to Avoid Getting Your Car Impounded.
If you're caught driving while drunk, the police may have your car towed and impounded. Not only can this mean paying to have the car released to you, but officers can also search an impounded vehicle without a warrant or probable cause.
Try to convince the officer to have a sober friend arrive to drive your car home. You'll need it come Monday.
3. Don't Expect to Be Informed of Your Charges.
Although police often tell suspects what they're being charged with, officers are generally not required to inform you of your charges upon arrest. This may not occur until your arraignment, which may not take place until 48 to 72 hours after your arrest. This could be especially true if you are arrested on Friday evening.
Until your next hearing, you will likely be sitting in a holding cell all weekend.
4. Try to Bail Yourself Out.
Getting bailed out of jail is not a sign of guilt, nor should you think that staying in jail on principle is a token of innocence. Depending on the bail schedule in your county, bail for a "simple" DUI could be as high as $5,000.
Luckily, bail bond agencies are open on weekends and will bail you out for a small percentage of the actual amount. You could also wait until Monday to be released on your own recognizance or for a chance to reduce your bail, but it may mean spending the rest of the weekend in jail.
5. Stay Calm and Contact a DUI Attorney ASAP.
Your weekend won't be off to a great start with a DUI arrest. But you can prevent it from becoming worse by calling an experienced DUI attorney and arranging a consultation. Many offer consultations for free.
Editor's Note, April 26, 2016: This post was first published in April 2014. It has since been updated.