Unless you drink alcohol only at home, you've probably come across the question of whether to partake when you're at an event where alcohol is served. But what might happen when you're driving home afterward can be an even stickier question. Assuming that you're driving with a legal level of sobriety, you don't deserve a DUI and yet circumstances may lead a police officer to believe that you do. Here are four tips to help you keep this mistake from happening.
1. Drive Cautiously
A routine stop for a speeding ticket or headlight malfunction can turn into something more if you've had something to drink and the officer notices. For this reason, you might as well avoid being pulled over even if your blood alcohol level is under the legal limit. Check that all your car's lights work before you leave, and drive conservatively all evening so there's no reason to stop you. If you're visiting outside your home state, be sure to check up on the drinking laws as well; some states may have a lower tolerance for blood alcohol than yours does. You don't want to get a DUI on your record because you forgot to check the laws before having a beer.
2. Be Courteous to Officers
There are all types of police officers, and some may be more suspicious of you than others. If you do get pulled over for whatever reason, you should show consideration by making sure there's nothing in your manner that may increase suspicion and doing everything in your power to put the officer at ease. Keep your hands where he or she can see them, and remember to speak politely and move slowly if at all. Don't antagonize the officer, and don't use language or expressions that may be misconstrued as a bad attitude.
3. Use a Designated Driver
If you're not positive you'll be legal to drive at the end of the evening, arrange in advance for a driver who will be. This could be one of your friends who doesn't drink anyway, or you could arrange to have a taxi pick you up at a certain time. Make the arrangements in advance whenever possible; don't leave the decision to your future self, whose judgment may be impaired by alcohol. Using a designated driver who drinks zero alcohol that evening ensures that he or she will be able to pass any sobriety tests if necessary, convincing a police officer that nothing dangerous or illegal is happening.
4. Get Advice From Your Lawyer
Your lawyer will be able to give you legal advice on how to avoid problems if you're stopped by a police officer. In addition to using courtesy when you're stopped (which is not legal advice, but rather common sense), you'll probably get other advice about whether or not to agree to take tests, such as those offered by Pecos Drug Testing; what to say; whether or not to admit to having had alcohol; and so on. However, your lawyer's advice may vary based on the local laws and other circumstances.
Stay safe from both collisions and DUI charges with these tips. Remember, this article isn't legal advice. In addition to using these tips, you'll want to make sure that you have the advice of a lawyer who's not only reputable but also experienced with DUI cases and well-versed in DUI law.