Facing DUI consequences is a scary thing. It’s obvious that the best way to avoid a DUI is to avid drunk driving, but sometimes drinking and driving happens. To help you avoid trouble, here are five ways yo help you prevent getting a DUI:
1. Be Smart When You Drink
There are a few tips that can prevent your drinking from turning into drinking and driving. For one, eat food while you drink. Either drink with a meal, or if that’s not possible, snack on pretzels throughout the night. Food slows down the absorption of alcohol. Alcohol is quickly absorbed on an empty stomach, and your BAC rises at a fast rate. Having a full stomach can slow it down and keep you same from a DUI. You can even use personal BAC devices to measure your own BAC. With it, you can learn when it’s safe to get behind the wheel of your car.
Another way to prevent drunk driving is to leave the car home. When you plan a night out, take a taxi or an Uber. This way, you don’t have to limit your drinking, and you don’t have to worry about getting home. It’s more convenient than a designated driver because you can always get a ride, no matter how late it is.
2. Avoid the DUI Checkpoints
It’s great to be smart with your drinking, but what if you aren’t? There are still ways to avoid DUI consequences. When police officers start taking DUIs more seriously and set up more checkpoints, they usually have to announce it in some public space, like the local newspaper.
Stay informed and pay attention for any news about new DUI checkpoints. Many towns and cities also have social media accounts or apps that alert you of DUI checkpoints.
3. Know Your State’s DUI Laws
Every state has different DUI laws. In order to avoid drunk driving, you should understand the laws. In some states, operating a non-motorized vehicle under the influence is illegal. The last thing you want is a charge for drinking and driving on your bicycle. Know which vehicles are off limits.
The legal BAC is .08% in every state. As a general rule, you can have one standard drink every hour and remain under this level. However, it’s not always the case, and you will face DUI consequences if you’re caught above that level- even if you’ve only had one drink an hour. Some states have added penalties for extremely high BACs, so understand the law in your state and do your best to comply with it.
4. Don’t Give the Police Any Excuse to Pull You Over
If you are drinking and driving, this tip can save you from DUI consequences. Unless you’re stopped at a checkpoint, the police need probable cause to pull you over. Chances are, you won’t be pulled over if you’re following all the rules of the road. Don’t drive too fast or too slow and stay in your lane. Avoid slowing down and speeding up too quickly or erratically. Pay extra attention to the traffic lights and don’t react to them too slowly. And be sure to use your headlights at night.
An officer can pull also pull you over for an expired tag or a broken light. Keep your tags up-to-date and check your lights regularly. Things like illegally tinted windows or other illegal modifications can alert the police, so keep everything legal and by the book.
5. If You’re Pulled over, Be Prepared
Even if you follow all of these tips, there’s a chance police will notice you. Prepare yourself. Officers look for fumbling, so keep your license and registration in an easily accessible place. You should always keep your car free of any illegal items. Empty beer cans or wine bottles and drug paraphernalia can make you a clear drunk driving target.
It can also help if you know what to expect when police pull you over. If an officer believes that you have been drinking, expect to be asked how much you have had. It’s important to remember that you don’t want to incriminate yourself. You can admit to having one or two drinks because that’s not enough to incriminate you. But you can also say that you would like to speak with a lawyer before you answer any questions. Anything you say can be used against you in court, so it’s smart to keep quiet.
There also may be a field sobriety test or a request for a breathalyzer. It is within your rights to decline either. If you think that you will fail, it’s best to politely decline to test. However, if you’re confident that you will pass, go through with the testing.
Facing The DUI Consequences
Even if you follow these tips, you might find yourself facing a drunk driving charge. If you are, you need a good DUI lawyer to help you fight it.