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May 31, 2011

Avoiding a DUI on Your Record

The best way to avoid a DUI is to NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE. The reason we have strict laws and severe penalties in the first place is because an automobile can become very lethal very easily if the person operating it loses their reasoning and motor skills due to the consumption of alcohol, narcotics, or sedatives. In 2009 alone nearly 11,000 people were killed in the U.S. due to automobile accidents resulting from alcohol-impaired driving, nearly one-third of all automobile-related fatalities for that year. Simply put: don't ever risk it, there's far more than just your own life on the line.

But if you ever find yourself on the wrong side of a critical error in judgment and about to be pulled over by the police, there are certain steps that you can take to increase the likelihood of avoiding the permanent stain of a DUI on your driving record.

It's important that if you find yourself being pulled over and questioned by law enforcement that you do not offer them probable cause. Police officers who suspect a driver has been drinking will employ a variety of tactics to initiate self-incrimination. You must remember that police are in no way obligated to inform you about your 5th amendment rights unless they're anticipating using your testimony against you in court, otherwise they can literally invite themselves into your car if you let them. They will ask you if you've had a drink, but more importantly they will ask you when you had your drink. You'll be tempted to try and tell them the "magic" timeframe but it wouldn't matter, because chances are the officer asked you only in anticipation for the next tactic: the Breathalyzer.

First off, understand that the Breathalyzer test is optional and at no point will you be forced by law to take one, despite what any law enforcement officer says. If you answered their questions about the last time you had a drink, they will time the test so as to ensure the most incriminating result. Never agree to a Breathalyzer test. Not only are their reliability in consistent dispute across American courts, but if you agree to one and it says you were above the legal limit you may be facing the even worse charge of DWI. The police might take you to the precinct if you refuse to blow, but understand that being detained for suspected DUI is far less incriminating in court than failing the Breathalyzer. When you have very few options, you have to know which is the lesser of two evils.

After being released from the police, get yourself a good DUI lawyer. More importantly make sure you get a lawyer from the area you were pulled over and/or detained, as DUI laws vary from county to county. A Phoenix DUI Lawyer is going to do a better job handling a drunk driving case that happened within the city limits than a lawyer from your hometown of Scottsdale.

Avoid a DUI by never doing it, but if you do, know your rights and get professional help as soon as possible.