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Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
State laws punishing those who operate vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol have become more stringent. Notably, the prohibited amount of alcohol in the driver's blood system is being decreased. It is never recommended that you try to fight a DUI citation without a lawyer, especially if this is a repeat offense and there is a possibility that you will go to jail.
What are the consequences of a jury trial?
Even if it is your first citation, a guilty conviction has more serious consequences that one for a moving violation. For instance, the "three strikes" felony rule is triggered and two more DUI citations could mean a felony conviction and prison sentence. At the very least, you will not be able to obtain automobile insurance except through insurers required by the state to insure you at astronomical rates.
Should I ask for a jury trial?
If you choose to fight the DUI citation, do not ask for a jury trial. The public is unsympathetic to drunk drivers and it very likely you will be found guilty unless the facts are overwhelmingly in your favor. For example, if there are no test results to prove your alcohol level and you have a good explanation for the behavior that led the officer to believe you were intoxicated, you may consider a jury.
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