Independence Day isn't the holiday that results in the most DUI arrests in the United States (that dubious honor goes to New Year's Eve) but it does come in second. That's probably because beer and wine are common accompaniments to barbecued steaks, burgers, and hot dogs. You should definitely take the opportunity to have fun and celebrate this year on the fourth, but you also want to take steps to avoid ending up in jail when you're just trying to get home. Here are a few tips that will help keep you safe and free this Fourth of July.
Use a Designated Driver Program
Of course, the best way to avoid a DUI is to simply ensure that you have a driver who is 100% sober. That doesn't mean that everyone has to abstain – all that you need is a designated driver. In some cities, during holidays that produce a high volume of DUI arrests, there are programs available to ensure that you have a sober ride home, like free taxi services or towing services.
If your community doesn't offer a program like this for the Fourth of July, though, you can organize one yourself. Consider teaming up with your local chapter of Mothers Against Drink Driving (MADD) or a similar organization, to create a designated driver program in your area. You can recruit volunteers, solicit donations, and form partnerships with local businesses and organizations. Not only will you make sure that you can get home safely, getting involved in a designated driver program allows you to help ensure the safety of your friends and neighbors as well.
Don't Buy Into Myths
There are a lot of myths surrounding alcohol consumption. For example, you may believe that comparably sized women and men can tolerate the same amount of alcohol, or that eating before you begin drinking will keep you from getting drunk. These and other myths can place you in a dangerous and legally precarious situation. Here are some important facts to keep in mind when preparing for this year's Fourth of July celebrations.
Understanding the facts about alcohol's effects on the body can help you make decisions that will avert the possibility of a DUI.
Know How to Handle a DUI Traffic Stop
It's entirely possible to end up being stopped for suspicion of drunk driving or detained at a DUI checkpoint even if you're completely sober or your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit. DUI checkpoints are particularly common during holidays like the Fourth of July. It's important to remember that your constitutional rights still apply when you've been stopped at a checkpoint or pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving.
Don't try to turn around and avoid a checkpoint – the police watch for this and will most likely stop you anyway. Never attempt to evade a police officer that's trying to pull you over. Be polite and cooperative, but remember that you're under no obligation to allow a search of your car or your person unless an officer has probable cause to suspect that you're driving under the influence – for instance, if you fail a breathalyzer test. You're also not obligated to answer any questions that might incriminate you.
The police can, however, detain you while they call a K-9 unit, and they can arrest you on the basis of a dog sniff test, even without a search. You are obligated to take a breathalyzer or other sobriety test at the request of an officer – in some states, refusing a sobriety test is grounds for arrest in and of itself. Most of the time, if you're sober and there's nothing in your car that should alert a dog during a sniff test, you'll be allowed to go quickly. The police can only detain you for a short time without an arrest.
On occasion, unwarranted arrests do happen. If you're arrested for a DUI, no matter what the circumstances, assert your rights to remain silent and be represented by a lawyer immediately. If the officer has made the decision to arrest you, you won't be able to talk them out of it, so don't attempt it. Contact a local DUI attorney in your area to handle things from there. You can click here for more information about DUI attorneys in your area.Share
12 June 2015
My son and a group of his friends got in some trouble for trespassing and were arrested. Every one of the boys that were there were charged with trespassing, criminal mischief and vandalism. I contacted all of the other boys' parents and we got together to discuss the situation. After hearing the boys' stories about what happened that day, we knew that we had to hire an attorney to get the boys out of some of the trouble they were in. I have been working on my blog to help other parents that are struggling with the legal system prosecuting their kids for things that they may not have done.