If you've recently been charged with a DUI after failing a blood alcohol test and are waiting for your day in court, there are a few important things you need to understand so you can prepare yourself for the inevitable. Failing a blood alcohol test doesn't necessarily mean that you'll lose your driving privileges, but it does mean that changes will be made. Here's what you need to know. 

Administrative hearing 

In addition to the criminal court date, there will also be an administrative hearing held by your state's Department of Motor Vehicles. This hearing will determine whether or not you will be able to continue driving, regardless of the outcome of your criminal trial. You will receive notification of this hearing in the mail, so you'll want to be sure that the DMV has the correct mailing address for you. 

Ignition interlock device

Unless your blood alcohol level was very high or you caused an accident while driving intoxicated, you will have a likely chance of being required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. The reason states offer this is so individuals like you are able to drive to work, to their driver's classes, and to any medical appointments that may be necessary.

An ignition interlock device contains a breathalyzer that will only start your vehicle if there is no alcohol detected. You will be told where and when to have this device installed in your vehicle. Beforehand, you will need to get a restricted license from the DMV, which usually contains bright lettering signifying that the license is restricted. It's a good idea to install a new battery before you have the ignition interlock device installed as they are known to drain batteries. 

FR44 or SR22 insurance

Another change that will need to be made involves your insurance coverage. You will need to provide proof to the state that you have the appropriate amount of insurance coverage. This proof is in the form of a certificate called FR44 or SR22, depending on the DUI conviction, administrative hearing, and your driving restrictions. This certificate basically verifies your coverage and needs to be filed with your state's DMV.

The difference between an FR44 and an SR22 is the amount of coverage as FR44 coverage requirements are typically double that of an SR22. Some insurance companies require an upfront payment in full if an FR44 or an SR22 are filed. Therefore, call your insurance company to find out whether or not this is a requirement you may need to meet so you can prepare by saving money to pay the remaining balance of your term of coverage.