Students attending the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) can sometimes feel as if they are being targeted by law enforcement for driving under the influence (DUI) arrests and charges. Indeed, college students throughout Georgia and the country are frequently accused of underage drinking and driving and judged with an unduly harsh scrutiny. The result is many college-aged individuals getting slammed with charges, convictions, and sentencing mainly due to the fact that they never knew that they could defend themselves from the criminal justice system.
If you are a SCAD student, or if your son or daughter is attending SCAD, and have been accused of a DUI, it is crucial that you learn how to protect your rights and driving privilege fast. Here’s how to do it.
DUI Defense Begins at the Arrest
The moment you are pulled over by a police officer for suspicion of driving while intoxicated is the same moment you need to start thinking about your defense against the charges that could well be on their way. Even if you are not illegally over the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit, an officer can use their discretion to put you in handcuffs and bring you back to the station for further testing or booking. If you look young or like a local college student, this could make the officer more inclined to assume you are breaking the law and driving drunk.
To start protecting your rights as soon as possible, get your license and registration ready once you pull over; this will show that you are responsive, responsible, and aware of the situation. Do not answer questioning with anything that could be self-incriminating. Remember that you have the Fifth Amendment to shield you from unlawful interrogations and from being compelled to stand witness against yourself.
If you are told to take a field sobriety test, ask if it is mandatory due to implied consent. If it is not, you probably will want to refuse it, as you will only give more evidence to any future prosecution teams. If you are told to take a mandatory breath or blood test – these are usually only conducted within a police station – you should probably take it, as refusing at this point will strip away your license automatically and any BAC results can always be challenged later.
Use Your Phone Calls Wisely
There is a common misconception that you only get a single phone call after you are arrested. While this is certainly a possibility, there is no set-in-stone rule the police must follow to stop you from getting a second. If you are a SCAD student arrested for a DUI, you should first call a DUI defense attorney and let them know what is going on. The sooner you get legal representation, the stronger the case they can build for you.
Next, ask the officer, clerk, or overseeing if you can have just one more phone call to home, so you can let your loved ones know what happened and that you are all right. Assuming you have been kind, courteous, and reasonable with the police so far, you just might be granted a quick second call. If for no other reason, calling your parents for a brief conversation can be reassuring to yourself that things are not as bad as they seem. Sometimes confidence and comfort are all we need to get through life’s greatest challenges.
When you are wondering what Savannah DUI attorney to call for your defense, look no further than Schneider Lerch, LLC. The firm’s legal team has more than 15 years’ of total legal experience, a focus on DUI cases, and has managed numerous DUI defense cases for SCAD students in the past. For insight backed by a former prosecutor and renowned trial attorney, call 912.385.0854 and learn what Savannah’s “DUI Daddy” can do for your case during an initial evaluation.