Being pulled over for DUI (driving under the influence) is one of the most frightening experiences that can happen to a driver. It carries potentially devastating consequences ranging from the loss of a driver’s license to jail time or imprisonment.
The best way to avoid a DUI is to steer clear of any activity that can get you pulled over in the first place. Here’s what you should know if you’re planning to be in an environment where there is social drinking and subsequent driving involved.
If you are concerned about getting pulled over for drinking and being impaired by alcohol, there are a few things you can do that could help you avoid a DUI arrest.
No one who drinks expects to get a DUI or to be the victim of an alcohol-related disaster. But sometimes people who have been drinking lose track of how much they have consumed and have not planned for an alternative ride home or arranged for a designated driver.
- Designate a Driver. One of the simplest actions to take if you expect to ingest alcohol when you go out is to have a plan in place for another person who will not be drinking to be designated as the driver. This person should be chosen before the evening even begins. Pre-planning is the key. The role and obligation of the designated driver is not to consume any alcohol, and to drive you, or a group of people, and make sure that they all get home safely.
- Eat Well. Make sure to consume food while you’re drinking. It will help slow down the intake of alcohol into your system. When you drink on an empty stomach, the alcohol is absorbed more rapidly and your blood alcohol content (“BAC”) rises at a faster rate than if you are eating.
- Slow Down & Interrupt Consumption. Spread out the consumption of alcohol so as to avoid reaching the legal 0.08 percent blood alcohol level limit. That includes no binge drinking. Staying properly hydrated is also helpful, so take in eight ounces of water after each drink consumed. Ceasing the consumption of alcohol for a period of time before you will be driving may also help keep your BAC under the legal limit.
- Look Up DUI Checkpoints. DUI checkpoints are set-up to identify and take impaired drivers off the road. It is possible to lookup the location of checkpoints in your area before you get behind the wheel. The police are typically required to announce them in a public forum in advance, so you can check online resources that inform you where they are set up. Drivers who are stopped at checkpoints are subject to extra scrutiny, which is why some people end up with DUI charges even if they show little to no signs of impairment.
- Car Maintenance. It’s always smart to keep your car in good running condition, and this can also help avoid being pulled over for suspicion of drunk or impaired driving. Having a headlight that doesn’t work or an expired tag is enough to for an officer to stop you on your way home.
- Avoid Distractions. Stay absolutely focused on the task of driving. Although you may be able to hold a phone conversation and switch radio stations when you’re sober, don’t do it if you’ve had even one drink. No matter how quick you believe you are, having even one beer or glass of wine makes your reaction time slower, and all of your concentration in needed to focus on the road at all times and to make it home safely.
- Obey Traffic Laws. While you should always follow the law, follow it even closer if you’ve had a bit to drink. The small things count. Use your signal light when changing lanes and stick to the speed limit. You don’t want to give the police any reason to pull you over.
- Easily Retrieve Documents. Keep your driver’s license, registration, and insurance information in an easy-to-access place. it helps to keep all your paperwork in a clearly marked envelope in the glove-box so you won’t have to dig around for it. If you fumble around for those items, it can give the police reasonable suspicion to do field sobriety tests based on perceived dexterity issues. It should also go without saying that you should assure that your license and registration are current and valid.
The Best Option
Naturally, common sense suggests the best way to avoid a DUI is simply not to drink and drive. There are dozens of options in today’s world from ridesharing Uber and Lyft companies to traditional taxis. Remember, if you are caught driving while impaired, it can cause serious problems in your everyday life. If you get into an accident, it can be even worse because you could be responsible for harming someone else, or worse.
A DUI Arrest
Even if you take all of these steps, a DUI arrest is still possible. If you do get pulled over after consuming alcohol, it is important to remain calm. Be respectful, polite and cooperative and comply with the requests that are made by the law enforcement officer.
If you ever face DUI charges, immediately seek the guidance of an experienced lawyer. The legal procedures involved in a DUI case are complex and the cost of a conviction is high. Let our skilled defense attorneys at West, Longenbaugh, and Zickerman guide you in obtaining the most favorable outcome.
West, Longenbaugh, and Zickerman is a well-respected criminal defense law firm with over 14 years of combined legal experience. If you have been charged with a DUI or other criminal offense, you need a knowledgeable attorney to protect every right you have under Arizona law.
Our team of experienced attorney’s have handled DUI cases from misdemeanor DUI to felony DUI cases. We pride ourselves on having the necessary skills and compassion to handle difficult legal issues. A DUI arrest carries with it severe penalties and can have lifelong consequences. Do not try to handle this issue on your own.