It’s Labor Day weekend and law enforcement is out in full force as the last of the”100 deadliest days for teens”, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day comes to an end. Be prepared, stay out of the driver’s seat if you plan to even have one drink. The best way to avoid a DUI charge is to not drink and drive. There is no easy way to know how many drinks will put you over the legal limit. You might feel sober or maybe just “buzzed” but that doesn’t guarantee your blood alcohol level is under the legal limit. Your blood alcohol level depends on many factors like your height, weight, how much you are eating, how fast you drink, whether you are on medications, how fast your metabolism is, etc.
If you are pulled over, even if you are sober or have taken the chance and only consumed one drink, having police behind you with their flashing lights will rattle you. Pull over safely and if it’s nighttime, put your interior lights on. Keep your seatbelt on. When the officer approaches your car, open your window half way and be polite saying as little as possible. When pulled over, you are under their control, but this does not mean you are under arrest. You are only required to provide your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration. You will be watched at how you show your license – did you fumble – did you hand over the wrong ID, etc, to determine if you exhibit any signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your eyes will be looked at to see if they are glossy or red. Keep in mind, the soberest of us can be nervous with police at our window – and mistakes happen. It is normal to be confused about your rights and obligations when you are pulled over by the police and to be scared.
The officer will most likely start a line of questioning—asking where you are coming from, where you are going, what your earlier activities were, etc. They seem innocent, but giving the cops more information could only give them more reason to detain you. Of course, the longer you are detained, the greater your chances of being arrested. Any skilled and good criminal defense attorney will tell you the best thing to do is politely refuse to answer questions or engage in a conversation. Be polite and silent even if you are asked why you don’t want to speak or are told only the guilty refuse to talk to police. These are tricks and you do not need to answer.
The Bottom Line: Today, it’s so easy and acceptable to find a designated driver, and if you can’t find a designated driver, limousine and taxi services are readily available. Don’t get behind the wheel, even after only one drink, especially this weekend. If you do and are pulled over, remember to remain polite & silent and to call a criminal defense attorney: 513-260-2099