Tips to Avoid A DUI Arrest

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To be honest, there’s only one foolproof way to avoid a DUI arrest: Don’t drink and drive. However, there have been instances where people have been arrested for DUI even without a drop of alcohol in their system. If you don’t want to be arrested for DUI for any reason, here are some tips that might help.

Don’t drive if you’re drowsy or exhausted

Never get behind the wheel if you’re feeling the slightest bit sleepy or tired. When you’re in such a physical state, you are likely to have difficulty focusing on the road, and your driving will be erratic. Cops will notice this, and they will pull you over on suspicion of DUI. Then again, there is a laundry list of serious reasons why you shouldn’t drive drowsy and tired. Far too many people have died because someone fell asleep at the wheel, and a DUI arrest would be the least of your problems.

Don’t give cops any reason to stop your car

To be able to take any action against you, the police will need probable cause, which could be several things. Busted lights and turn indicators, shattered windows, and other outward signs that there is something wrong with your car could be reasons enough for cops to stop your vehicle. If you’re driving a car with an expired license plate, that would be probable cause as well. If you run a red light or commit any kind of traffic violation, you’re likely to be pulled over by officers. Never give the police any reason to stop your car.

Be polite to cops

If an officer pulls you over, don’t forget to be polite and cooperative the entire time. Do the opposite, and you will only escalate things, and you could end up being handcuffed and booked for a DUI and a number of other charges, regardless of whether or not you were actually intoxicated.

Invoke the Fifth

Let’s say that you did have one drink, and you were pulled over. The officer will ask you several questions, including some about drinking. If you’re concerned about incriminating yourself, you can always invoke your Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer the question. But don’t lie, because that can be used against you in court if ever you’re arrested.

Still, if you get arrested for DUI, keep calm, and remember that there are things that you must refrain from doing to improve your chances of beating the charge. Check them out in the infographic below.

Infographic provided by Law Office of Michelle Bell

Myth or Fact: What You Should Know About DUIs

By NTL member Barbara Bowden

Myth: You can’t be charged with a DUI if your BAC is <.08

The legal limit for DUI is .08. If your breath or blood alcohol level is .08 or above, you will be arrested for DUI. However, if you blow under a .08, you can still be arrested for DUI. The prosecutor will proceed with the DUI charge under the “affected by” prong of the statute. According to RCW 46.61.5055, even if your BAC is under the legal limit, you can still be convicted of a DUI if it can be proven that your driving is affected to an appreciable degree. The prosecutor will attempt to prove the DUI using issues with driving as well as physical indicators of impairment such as slurred speech, flushed face, bloodshot- watery eyes and problems with coordination.

  • Fact: If you refuse the field sobriety test your license will be suspended

    Washington state law requires that you take a blood or breath test if you are arrested for DUI. This is a result of the implied consent law in Washington. It states that any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state of Washington is deemed to have given consent to a test or tests of that person’s breath or blood for purposes of determining alcohol concentration or the presence of any drug.

    Myth: If you drink one drink an hour, you will keep your BAC under .08

    Alcohol is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and into the bloodstream. The alcohol is distributed throughout the body until equilibrium is achieved (even distribution throughout the body). Healthy people metabolize alcohol at a fairly constant rate. In general, a person will eliminate one average drink of alcohol per hour. There are many charts and graphs that try to predict what a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will be after a certain number of drinks per hour. This calculation is based on many variables. While a chart can be used as a general guideline, it can’t predict a person’s blood alcohol content with absolute certainty. Many factors are involved including weight and absorption rate. For example, the less you weigh, the more you will be affected by a given amount of alcohol. Furthermore, food taken with alcohol causes a delay of alcohol absorption resulting in a decrease of alcohol absorption into the bloodstream.

Fact: You can be arrested if you are in a car with the engine off

If you are impaired and have physical control of a vehicle, you can be charged with the crime of Physical Control. Being in physical control of the vehicle means that you have the ability to start and operate the vehicle. You don’t have to be in the driver’s seat or even sitting in the car. So if you have been drinking and decide to sleep it off in the backseat of the car and the keys are in the ignition or in your pocket, you can be charged with physical control. This type of charge has the exact same consequences as a DUI.