Even though everyone knows how dangerous it can be to get behind the wheel of a car after downing a couple of drinks. Many people, unfortunately, still make the mistake of driving in an intoxicated state and getting stopped and arrested by the police. Getting a DUI slapped on you is a traumatic experience, and it can have multiple impacts on your current and long-term future. Some tips on drunk driving:
Don’t Drink and Drive
If you must drink out of home, make it a point to return with a designated driver for the evening, get a cab, or stay back at a friend’s place. A DUI conviction has multiple ramifications, including loss of time, steep fines, counseling sessions, probation, and even jail time. If you are a repeat offender, your BAC count is high or facing a felony charge, you can expect much more severe penalties and punishment. If your license gets suspended, you cannot drive to work and may face issues at your workplace. According to Forbes, a DUI conviction can result in your insurance rates climbing by 67% on average.
Cooperate With the Police but Do Not Undertake Field Sobriety Tests
If a police officer pulls you over, he will likely approach you and question you. They cannot stop drivers based on mere suspicion without cause. If the officer requests you, you must give him your driving license, registration, and proof of insurance. While you must not lie to the police, it is important to remember that you have certain rights. These include the right not to do field sobriety tests or blow into the breath testing equipment. Undertaking these tests merely gives the police evidence they can use as DUI facts against you in court.
You Have the Right to Consult With Your Lawyer
If the police arrest you on a DUI charge, you can exercise the right to counsel. If the police do not permit it, you can ask the court to void the case. Do not wait for the police to recite your “Miranda Rights”. Typically, the police gather all the evidence including your statements, before informing you that you have the right to remain silent and speak with an attorney.
Right to an Independent Examination
Even if the police test your blood and breath and charge you with a DUI offense based on such tests, you have the right to get your blood tested independently. Your charge can be dismissed if the police did not inform you that of have this right. It is advisable to get an independent blood test because the equipment used by the police may not be functioning accurately.
You must record all the details of what happened when you were stopped by the police and thereafter. This report is necessary because it can take a long time to reach the trial stage. The police will have their reports ready to present to the judge while you are likely to have forgotten the details unless you have noted them down. You can counter any inaccuracies in the police statements with the help of your notes.