There’s one tradition we could all do without – the spikes in binge drinking, DUIs, and alcohol-involved crashes that come with the holiday season. Because of this, Ohio puts extra officers on the state’s roads and freeways to focus on speed limit enforcement and watch for all signs of impaired driving. The opportunities to getting arrested for a DUI are increased this week between Christmas and New Year.

Don’t drink and drive. Though obvious, many drivers think that using a DIY breathalyzer or drinking “tricks” will allow them to drink and drive home safely. Portable breath testing devices range in varying degrees of accuracy. Although your test may reveal you are safe to drive, you could be putting yourself and others in serious danger by driving if the device is even a few percentage points off.

No doubt about it—being pulled over on suspicion of driving while impaired is a nerve-wracking, anxiety-producing experience. It is important to know that we are all afforded certain rights, thanks to our Constitution. First and foremost, you have the right to remain silent. The right to remain silent is critical, no matter whether you feel your charges are in error, or you know you probably should not have been driving after drinking. Remember, police officers are trained to extract information from suspects by whatever method works. In other words, the friendly, sympathetic-seeming police officer is every bit as likely to use what you say against you later as the stern “bad cop.”

Don’t try to “talk your way out of,” the charges, and don’t try to explain to the officer that you “only had one drink at a company Christmas party”—even if your explanation is the absolute truth. Many suspects believe that if they can only “explain” to the officer, they will be allowed to go home and the incident will be over and done with. This is simply not true. If you are being questioned, the police officer has likely already made up his or her mind about your guilt.

Most importantly, you have the right to call a criminal defense attorney immediately. The sooner an experienced criminal defense attorney gets involved in a case, the more of an impact they could have on getting a case dismissed or reduced.

The Bottom Line:  Set up a ride home if you are going to have a few drinks. There are many different options to get you home safely – Uber, Lyft and a taxi service to name a few. DUI cases are highly technical. A skilled criminal defense attorney can identify issues in a case that can be used as leverage in plea negotiations and/or potentially used in a successful trial strategy.  In order to achieve the best possible result, you will need competent, expert counsel.  Call me: 513.260.2099