The end of the year holiday season is upon us once again and while this can be a wonderful time for celebrating with family and friends, it can also be one of the riskiest times to be out on the road. In fact, arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) are typically higher during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve than at any other time of the year. Law enforcement typically ramps up their efforts to catch drunk drivers during the holidays by increasing their presence on the road and setting up sobriety checkpoints. Below, we have included 3 tips to help drivers avoid being pulled over for DUI during the holidays.
- Don’t drink and drive: The best way to avoid an arrest for drunk driving (during any time of the year) is to simply avoid getting behind the wheel after you drink. If you’re not sure if that last drink put you over the limit, don’t get behind the wheel. The consequences for DUI can be severe and it is best to avoid taking any chances.
- Designate a driver: If you know that your holiday plans involve having a few drinks, consider designating a driver to make sure everyone gets home safely at the end of the night. Drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents and by planning ahead, you can help to keep everyone safe. If no one volunteers to be the night’s driver, consider calling a taxi or taking public transportation.
- Get a room: Another way that planning ahead can help you to stay safe and on the right side of the law is to arrange for a place to stay. If you’re visiting friends or family this holiday, consider asking them if you can sleep on a spare bed or sofa. If this is not an option (or every available space has already been claimed), consider taking a taxi to a nearby hotel.
What If I am Pulled Over?
In the event that you are pulled over and questioned about drunk driving, it is critical to remember your rights. An officer may be building a case against you from the moment they see your vehicle and you may want to avoid saying more than you have to. While you should comply with an officer's basic requests (such as providing identifying information), you do not have to answer questions about your business. If they continue to question you, state that you are exercising your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
If you are pulled over, remember:
- Field sobriety tests are optional: While the police may phrase this to sound like an order, you are well within your rights to refuse to participate.
- Do not consent to a search: Again, unless the police have a warrant or have established probable cause, they need your consent in order to conduct a search of your person or your vehicle.
- You have the right to an attorney: If you are arrested or charged with a crime, you have the right to legal counsel and do not have to talk to law enforcement without your attorney present.
Aggressive Defense Against DUI Charges
At Schneider Lerch, LLC, we want to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season. However, if you are accused of DUI over the holidays, waste no time in contacting our firm. Our Savannah DUI lawyer possesses more than 15 years of proven experience and can help you to overcome the legal challenges ahead.
Call (912) 385-0854 or request a case evaluation online to speak to an attorney about your case.