The large majority of people who are caught driving under the influence of alcohol are those who are driving the morning after drinking, rather than making such a choice when intoxicated. There are of course some who believe that it is a good idea to drive whilst drunk, but in most cases it is people who the following day believe that the alcohol has left their system and that they are fit enough to drive. Some people get away with this of course, others unfortunately do not and they end up being pulled over by the police, who are likely to smell alcohol on the breath and then place the driver under suspicion until they know more. If this does happen to you, here is what you can expect afterwards.


After the police suspect that you are driving under the influence they will take you back to the police station for a breath test, if you test positive then you will be arrested and booked. This will involve having your fingerprints and a mug-shot taken. In many states, once this is completed you can be released immediately if someone pays your bail and comes to pick you up.

Court Date

Before you are released from custody you will be given a court summons with a date for when you will appear in court. As soon as you have left the police station it makes sense for you to take legal advice ahead of this court date. Having been through this before I recommend that you seek out specialized counsel and visit a criminal lawyer Parramatta┬áis where I found the perfect legal team to defend me, and if you live in the Sydney area I’d say that this is where you should look because for this team, driving convictions and charges are their speciality.

Losing Your License

In all states you will lose your driving license for a certain period of time after your conviction, even if this is your first offense. The severity of your actions and how you comply with the authorities will often dictate how long you lose your license for, in some cases it can be as little as 3 months in others it may be for life.

Paying a Fine

As part of your debt to society for your illegal actions you will have to pay a fine, the amount will be determined by the judge in the courtroom. There are mandatory minimums and maximums based on your circumstances and the only additional fines which will be paid is if you have caused damage to property.

Jail Time

Repeat offenders and those who have caused great damage as a result of their drunk-driving could face jail time. These terms will often be very short, unless there have been casualties or fatalities, and in some cases these terms may be weekend-based sentences which will see the offender spending 2 nights per week in prison.

Back to School

Once you have served your punishment you may be able to get your license back, and in order to do so you must attend a program which highlights the dangers of drink driving.


A further consequence of your conviction is that your insurance premiums will be greatly inflated the next time you try to take out insurance on a vehicle. Unless the case is thrown out for a technicality, this is something you will have to live with.

Be cautious the morning after a night of drinking, educate yourself on how much time you should leave and ensure that you only drive when you are fully dried out.