Meeting old friends presents a great opportunity to catch up. Have a few drinks, a good meal and enjoy one another’s company. While this may seem like an innocent night on the town, it’s possible that you could be stopped by police on your way home. If they think you might be impaired, and you fail some of their roadside tests, you could be arrested and facing DUI charges.

For experienced professionals, a DUI charge has the potential to be life-changing. You not only face the loss of your driver’s license, but you also could be seeing some significant career consequences as well. You could face discipline from ethics boards, or even be terminated by your employer. Here’s what you can do to help prevent your life and career from being ruined by a DUI.

Talk to an attorney right away

The fact is, even if you have prior experience with the criminal justice system in some fashion, you are not going to know how to best defend against DUI charges. A lawyer who has handled drunk driving cases will know how to fight the evidence collected against you, and know what will be best for your specific situation. If you think you can talk your way out of this, know that you are about to make a big mistake.

Know that this isn’t the end of the world

Things may really seem to be stacked against you. You might feel sorry for yourself, like you deserve whatever penalties come with pleading guilty. Before you make such a huge decision, take a step back and think about what this means for your future. You are going to have an opportunity to make things right, but you need to make sure that you do not put yourself in a position where all you can do is fail.

Take on one thing at a time

A lot is going to happen in a short amount of time after a DUI arrest. You are going to have a lot to process, and there will be many different things happening as your case goes through the legal system. Having an attorney can help you keep track of things, and also help you feel more comfortable about your options.