People often want to know what they need to do when they get a DUI, but equally (if not more) important is knowing and following a number of smart practices that you can take prior to getting a DUI to avoid getting one in the first place. Taking the time to practice these extra steps will save you the stress, hassle and expense that comes from being arrested and charged with a DUI.
Thanks to the experienced DUI attorneys over at Hoffman & Associates, here are seven tips to avoid getting pulled over and arrested for a DUI.
- Don’t drink. This is an obvious one, but it’s actually the only way to avoid getting a DUI. And, you know the drill, if you do want to go out and drink, either grab a cab or have another person drive and who will be the designated driver. Remember, it’s not illegal to drink alcohol and drive, but knowing how much alcohol it will take to put you over the limit is not so easy to determine on your own. So, keep it simple for yourself and don’t drink.
- Maintain a “Better safe than sorry.” Rule. If you are out and you do drink, be smart about it. If you’re ever in doubt at all, don’t risk it. There are plenty of DUI arrests and convictions to people who did not even know they had any symptoms from drinking alcohol, so there was no way of knowing that they would be over the legal limit. You don’t have to be slurring your words and stumbling over in order to be too intoxicated to drive. Be smart about it and whenever you’re in doubt, don’t risk it. Wait a while, get a bite to eat and drink some water, take a cab if you’re too impatient, ask someone else to take you home. It’s simply not worth the risk.
- Go home early. Go home before 11pm. Many restaurants that stay open late close at 11pm and most bars and liquor stores close at 2am. This means that more cops are patrolling from midnight to 3am or so. Not to mention, for your own safety, it’s better to get on the road and get home before others that might be driving while intoxicated do.
- Avoid main streets and checkpoints. Check online for any checkpoints and avoid main streets and highways when possible.
- Properly maintain your vehicle. One of the main reasons many people who are arrested for DUI get pulled over in the first place is due to improper maintenance of their vehicle. Anything from a headlight or tail light out to expired registration tags. Be sure that the vehicle you drive is working properly and has all of its proper licensing and registration taken care of.
- Be extra cautious on the road. Your drive home should look like you’re taking your behind-the-wheel test to get your license. This means, using your turn signals, coming to complete stops, letting pedestrians cross the entire crosswalk, staying between the lines, etc. Additionally, no talking on your cell phone or texting (both of which you shouldn’t be doing while driving anyway). In the end, don’t give a police officer any added reason to be suspicious of you and pull you over.
- If pulled over, be polite and cooperative. In the event that you are pulled over, pull over where it is safe for you and the officer. Have your license, registration and proof of insurance readily available and be prepared to hand this over to the officer by the time they approach your car. And, be polite and cooperative during this process. All of these steps show rational thinking, which can be used in your defense against a possible DUI, should you be arrested and charged as such.
In the end, you won’t have to worry too much about any of these tips if you simply follow the first tip, which is to simply not drink alcohol in the first place. As mentioned before, it’s not illegal to drink and operate a vehicle; however, it is illegal once you’re over the legal limit, which is 0.08% in California. So knowing and following these other tips before going out can also help you from even drawing any kind of attention to you and being pulled over, questioned and possibly tested (and arrested) for driving under the influence.
If you’re in the greater Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties of California and you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, contact Hoffman & Associates at 1-888-377-9770 to set up a free meeting to discuss your case!
This post is brought to you the good folks at Hoffman & Associates, servicing DUI and automobile accident needs of those throughout the greater Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. If you or a loved one has ever been pulled over for a DUI, contact us at 1-888-377-9770 to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We’d love to connect with you on Facebook!