Each year our firm sees an unfortunate spike in the number of DUI arrests made around the holidays. Between the amount of celebrations and travel that people do (not to mention the stress they are under) it seems that drinking and driving has become very common.
Obviously, the number one tip is simple: don't drink and drive, period. That is the only way to totally avoid a DUI. With that being said, remember that it is not illegal to drink and drive; it is only illegal to drive while under the influence. One drink may not be a problem, however several drinks can be. Use your discretion and know your limits.
We also know that often times, drivers who are not impaired are still stopped and arrested for DUI. Because the majority of breath tests are not conducted until after you are arrested, there is still a chance you will be booked into custody even if you are just under the legal limit. Therefore, here are some additional tips to help you avoid a potential DUI if you are going to have one or two drinks while at a holiday celebration:
- Make sure that all equipment on your vehicle is working and that your license and registration are up to date. This will help you avoid being pulled over for something unrelated to your driving pattern.
- If stopped by an officer, be polite and on your best behavior. Take precautions to ensure officer safety. Follow the advice of the officer to demonstrate that you are sober and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- If you are arrested, make sure to write a narrative of the events immediately upon your release from jail. You will want a clear recollection of what happened if your case is set for a hearing months later down the road. The best way to preserve this information is to take notes immediately.
- Know your limits. Generally speaking, if you weigh 160 pounds, 3-4 drinks would put you over the limit. Make sure you are sober and able to drive if you do make the decision to get behind the wheel. Remember it is not just your life at stake, but the others who share the road with you as well.