The consequences you face if you have been arrested for a DUI vary depending on the situation. Each new DUI within ten years makes the punishment worse, with mandatory custody for second and subsequent offenses. If someone other than yourself was injured in an accident when you got your DUI, that can make the case a felony and the presumed punishment is two years in State prison. There are also fines, mandatory classes and possible public work service.
After you have been arrested for a DUI, no matter what the circumstances, the single most important thing you can do to try and lessen the consequences is hire a DUI lawyer. Often times, a good DUI lawyer can negotiate a reduced charge or sentence. Their reputation with prosecutors and judges is critical to that. They also give you the best chance of beating the case entirely.