If you are pulled over and suspected of drunk driving, call a DUI attorney. While this may seem like a minor traffic infraction, especially if you do not feel drunk, it is not. If you are convicted of a DUI, you are convicted of a crime and you will have a permanent criminal record. This can cause problems when it comes to employment, auto insurance rates, renting a new apartment, and even maintaining custody of your kids in a divorce. We recommend that you always take criminal charges seriously and work with an experienced lawyer to protect your rights today and in the future.
Ideally, however, it is best to avoid a situation where you could be pulled over in the first place. This is more difficult than normal during the holiday season, since law enforcement is out in full force, looking for drunk drivers and often setting up DUI checkpoints. Keeping that in mind, you should be sure to drive safely, follow the rules of the road, and avoid doing things like texting or talking on your cell phone. After all, drunk and distracted driving can appear very similar, and if you are pulled over for texting after drinking one beer, you will have alcohol on your breath.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when to comes increased holiday patrols. First, the police are on high alert because statistically, there are more alcohol-related fatalities this time of year. While your one beer after work is unlikely to cause a major accident, they need to be on watch as a public safety precaution. As such, the best way to avoid being pulled over and remain safe is to get a designated driver or not to drink at all. If you do and you are pulled over for it, call a DUI attorney.
Even if you fail a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer, you should remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. Charges will need to be brought against you, and a prosecutor will need to prove that you were indeed driving drunk. A DUI attorney can build your defense, evaluating things like the accuracy of the breathalyzer machine or bringing up mitigating factors that could have made you appear intoxicated, even if you were not. Taking cold medicine, for example, or being extremely fatigued can make you appear to be intoxicated. In fact, driving tired can sometimes be more dangerous than driving drunk, yet it is not illegal.
Remembering the severity of the charges and the chance of gaining a permanent criminal record, be sure to call a DUI attorney after being pulled over. If you do not have the opportunity to do so immediately, call from the jail. As lawyers, we can help you to get out on bail and to recover your car if it has been impounded. Both can happen fairly quickly when working with someone who understands the process. If you or someone you know needs help, give us a call right away.