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What To Do If You Get A DUI And Careless Operation Ticket At The Same Time?

If you find yourself in a situation of receiving a DUI and careless operation ticket at the same time and need guidance and information, you have come to the right place. Generally speaking, most states have common traffic laws between them and common consequences for traffic law violations. However, it is important to remember if you are driving in an unfamiliar area, be wary of the traffic laws to avoid any legal troubles.

This article will specifically explore what you should do if you find yourself involved in a traffic violation resulting in a DUI and careless operation ticket simultaneously. 

Traffic Violation 101: DUI & Careless Operation


If you are new to driving, DUI refers to “driving under the influence.” It is a traffic violation resulting from suspicion by law enforcement that an individual is impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other factors while operating a motor vehicle. DUI citations and convictions can have a whole slew of legal percussions depending on the circumstances. 

Careless Driving

Careless driving on the other hand is a traffic citation that is less serious in nature and is often cited for not taking the “rules of the road” seriously, or having disregard for traffic laws that are implemented to keep everyone safe. This can include things like:

  • Not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign
  • Failure to stop for individuals at posted crosswalks
  • Turning right at a red light with a posted “no turn” sign
  • Running a red light
  • Failure to use turn signals
  • Disregarding posted speed limits
  • Forgetting to wear a seatbelt

What makes a careless operation ticket different from other traffic violations, such as reckless driving, is that it is less serious in nature and does not cause harm to one’s self or others. DUI’s on the other hand are typically viewed as a serious traffic violation, regardless if anyone is injured or if any property is damaged.

Conviction Consequences

Traffic court can be tricky to navigate especially if you have never been involved in a traffic incident. Your individual circumstance, traffic violation, and previous driving record are all factors to consider when determining if you are going to fight the ticket in court, or potentially seek legal advice or representation from a local criminal attorney

Most states classify careless driving as a less serious offense, and they are cited based on law enforcement’s assessment of the given circumstance. Individuals given a careless operation ticket can face consequences such as:

  • Fines not exceeding $1,000
  • Jail time not exceeding 9 months
  • Points on license
  • Mandatory driving or educational program

A DUI citation can be much more serious, and even more so if harm to someone or property damage occurs. A DUI conviction can result in (but are not limited to):

  • Fines ranging from $300-$5,000
  • Years of jail time
  • Probation 
  • Suspension of driving privileges
  • Mandatory driving or educational programs

With DUI convictions, not only do individuals face criminal proceedings, but they can also find themselves involved in civil cases as well, which can involve additional monetary rewards for victims of a DUI incident. 

What are your rights regarding traffic violations?

It is important to remember regardless of your specific situation and traffic violation, you always have the right to seek legal advice and have a right to an attorney. Having a lawyer present in court is beneficial in more serious cases, especially if you are involved in an accident, or if you have a record with previous citations. Having a lawyer present can help to advocate a lesser punishment. 

Other times, you can fight your ticket in court simply by stating the facts surrounding the incident and providing detailed evidence, owning up to making a mistake, or if you are lucky, the police officer will not show which results in an automatic dismissal of your case. 

Or just pay the fine

Another option many may resort to is simply paying the fine associated with a ticket, especially when no other legal percussions are involved and view it as a “lesson learned” incident.

Whichever route you choose to take will depend on your specific circumstances surrounding the traffic violation- no pun intended. 

Final Words: What to do if you get a DUI and careless operation ticket

If you find yourself in a traffic incident that involves citations of DUI and careless operation tickets, be smart about your following actions. In less serious offenses, sometimes it is easier to just pay the ticket and move on. Other times, it is worth a fight in traffic court. And, for the more serious incidents, consult with a lawyer for defense in court. Although DUI convictions are based on evidence gathered through a series of tests, such as a breathalyzer, field test, and/or blood or urine test to determine one’s blood alcohol content (BAC), careless operation tickets are often based on a law enforcement officer’s judgment, and often do not have supporting evidence other than their word. You will have to decide what is best for you if you get a DUI and careless operation ticket at the same time.


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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