When it comes to driving, there are many laws and rules that should always be applied no matter what, for the sake of ensuring your safety, as well as other people’s safety. In a perfect world, no one would ever drive under the influence of any form of drug or alcoholic beverage, and this also includes ourselves.
Taking into consideration the incredible amount of options available today to avoid such scenarios, it shouldn’t be something as common as it is. Sleep at your friend’s house, walk home, take a taxi, get a ride, or even call an Uber…
These options are either affordable or just straight up more viable than driving while drunk or high, and this, of course, is done to avoid a DUI stop, also commonly referred to as sobriety checkpoints, as showcased at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_checkpoint.
That being said if for some reason you or someone close to you find themselves in a DUI stop while drunk driving, there are some things you should always take into consideration.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of properly engaging a DUI stop to ensure everything goes as neatly as possible, and talk about why, in case it happened, you might want to hire an attorney to handle your case.
On that note, let’s start by talking about the first thing you have to do: Do not panic.
Remain as Calm as Possible
When it comes to handling life, I have always said that stoicism is probably the best philosophy to apply under all circumstances, and one of the principles of stoicism claims that there’s no need to worry about the things you cannot control.
If you suddenly find yourself in front of a DUI stop while drunk driving, the best thing you can do is apply this principle, and accept the fact that you just made a mistake, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Breath in, breath out, and remain as calm as you possibly calm.
Accepting the situation and the inevitable result regardless of what awaits you is possibly the best thing you can do. Things are not as bad as you think if you just let everything go its way. Things will definitely be worse if you panic and do something stupid, so just let everything flow.
Still, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of not being fined. However, we will talk about that later on in this article.
Pull-Over Slowly and Steadily
Now is the time to pull over. You have already accepted your fate and your mind is at peace with the situation, so just a gentle pull-over will put everything in motion. If you are drunk, but can still handle yourself, just think about what you usually do when you pull over. If the officer gives you specific instructions, follow them as much as you can.
If you want a much smoother, gentle experience, you can always:
- Roll down the windows halfway
- Turn the lights on
- Turn the radio off
- Keep your hands on the wheel
- Do not make sudden movements, and wait for instructions
Handling the Situation in Your Favor
Although it is always recommended to be polite with the officer handling your situation, you of course want things to go your way and reduce the chances of being fined.
For that reason, you should understand that ending the encounter as quickly as possible should be your main goal. Most of the time, officers will ask for your license, your insurance, and your registration. If that is the case, you should provide information about the location of said documents, and ask for permission to retrieve them.
Ideally, these should be located and organized in a place where you can easily find them, and have them prepared for such situations to handle them to the office as soon as possible. This is the one and only petition you should absolutely follow through.
Now, here’s where things get far more complicated. When it comes to handling police officers, knowing that are on your legal right to remain silent is very important.
If a police officer asks you whether you know why you were stopped or not, for example, you can always answer with no, and if they ask you if you had anything to drink, you can respond with a simple “Am I allowed to leave now?” since it is in your best interested to cut down the interaction right away.
Usually, they will ask you why you are in such a hurry if you answer that question. Having a plan in mind or a counteract for such a situation is always a good thing, especially if there’s someone that can back you up. For example, needing to go home to rest because of your job, or having a very important errand to run.
However, there are some factors, however, that can heavily increase the chances of a fine, such as:
- A very noticeable smell of alcohol
- Hints of being drunk, such as talking impairments or problems managing your speaking and movements.
- Bottles or cans of alcohol lying around
- Having drunk companions in the car
If those factors are present, things might escalate to the next section.
Field Sobriety Tests
Doing balance-based exercises to determine whether you are drunk or not is optional, and in fact, it is never recommended to do them because you want things to end as soon as possible, and they will only prolong your interaction with the law.
If they ask you to perform a portable breath test, you might want to take it or not based on how confident you are with the situation. This can be difficult to assess if you are drunk, so it might be a good idea to decide what to do before you even go drunk in case something happens, the stick to that decision.
In various states, rejecting to take a breath test before getting arrested or after getting arrested can result in various complications, but there’s also the chance that you might be released peacefully. If you reject to take the test, the problems that you will deal with later on might be harder to cope with in comparison to the problems you might deal with if you decide to take it, so it is often perceived as a bet.
Now, at this point, they might ask you to step out of the car, and you have the right to not do so, and remain silent. Depending on the state you are in, you even ask for a lawyer if the situation escalates to this point. There are two possible outcomes for this situation: You either get arrested, or you don’t.
This is the worst possible scenario for a DUI stop. If you are arrested, you will need to take a chemical test whether you like it or not. Blood tests are very complicated since they can show positive results for drugs like Cannabis even if you consumed them weeks prior to the encounter, thus, the best choice is always to undergo a breath test instead, since they can only test alcohol levels.
Last Notes on the Matter
Ideally, you should absolutely avoid drinking and driving under any circumstance. If you follow all these steps and you find yourself in jail and dealing with legal consequences, it is only because of your decisions.
However, at this point, you might want to deal with the situation with the help of a lawyer. Still, are they actually worth the money? Well, it depends on the gravity of the situation, and whether you can afford one or not. Finding a lawyer, thankfully, is very easy, and if you write search for My Local DUI Lawyer on the internet, you are very likely to find one.
But what are the actual benefits of hiring a DUI lawyer, and in which way can they help you out?
Understanding Your Situation
When we talk about legal procedures, we talk about very tedious, stressful, and at times, costly experiences. If we add all the troubles we will be dealing with, is hiring an attorney actually worth it? Or will it just make things worse without any actual benefits?
First of all, you have to understand if you are facing charges for Driving Under the Influence, you will most likely end up spending a lot of money to deal with things as smoothly as possible, thus, there’s no escape from it, especially considering how serious this offense is.
Back in the day, an attorney could actually help you out by helping you plead for a lesser charge or even save your license. However, because of the way laws have changed over the years, this is now not possible since all the people who are caught drunk driving are mandatory to deal with DUI charges.
For that reason, knowing the way in which an attorney can actually help you is essential, especially when it comes to managing your own expectations.
How a DUI Attorney Might Help
An attorney is, of course, very helpful when you are absolutely innocent about the charges you are dealing with, and you know for sure you were improperly charged for a DUI case. If you checked this article, though, this is most likely not the case, thus, we can jump on to the next advantages.
Generally speaking, a DUI attorney is most recommended when you are dealing with your first Driving under the Influence offense and you have no clue about the experience you are going to deal with.
They will work as guides and tutors during the whole process, preparing you for the procedure and letting you know what will be necessary for you to complete the whole procedure with ease.
An attorney will also save you a lot of time when it comes to all the legal aspects of the whole process as well as all the requirements that will be asked from you since they are very familiar with all aspects of it.
Attorneys are also capable of guiding you through other legal processes that will definitely facilitate everything, such as insurance forms or alcohol education and programs that will come in handy to recover some privileges.
Essentially, they will save you a lot of time and stress and will definitely make the experience much more bearable, while ensuring the best result possible based on the circumstances. When it comes to dealing with your first DUI charge, there’s nothing better than having peace of mind and knowing how to properly handle the whole situation, thus, they are often recommended for your first experience.
For that reason, if you can afford it, you should absolutely go for it. In fact, depending on the situation and the state you live in, you might end up saving money if you go it, because of the amount of time and effort you would otherwise spend during the whole agenda.
Know Why You Are Dealing with a DUI Charge
It might be necessary to have the right expectations. Because of the way laws have changed over the years, you have to understand that a DUI attorney will not make your charge or sentence lighter in most situations, and this is understandable since it is a change that was undergone to ensure that fewer and fewer people are driving while drunk.
Understand that you put yourself in that situation because of your decisions and that you could have easily avoided it if you had just taken made another choice, and there are definitely many other choices, as we previously covered at the beginning of this article.
Thus, don’t expect an attorney to magically solve your crimes. See it as a mentor that will guide you through the best result, not as someone that will fix all your mistakes! Just take this as a lesson, and make sure to learn from it, and avoid something similar happening in the future.