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Drunk Driving Lawyer
Ideally, you will never have the need to call our DUI lawyer because you will never be arrested for DUI in the first place. Avoiding a DUI charge, or even being pulled over on suspicion of DUI can often be avoided. And not everyone who is pulled over is necessarily guilty. In fact, because a police officer has the right and authority to pull someone over simply based on their suspicion that the driver might be DUI. After all, they know very little until they interact with the person directly. The driver might be having a medical emergency, for instance, and that’s the cause of their swerving. But a DUI charge can occur after a series of events, and with it the need for a DUI lawyer. Here are some tips to avoid that scenario.
Do Not Drink and Drive
That’s pretty straightforward and probably not news to you. But it requires discipline. Designate a person in your party who will not drink at all and will be the driver. Or, call a cab. Alternately, enjoy your choice of adult beverages at home and leave your vehicle parked.
Keep Your Vehicle Clean
What does “clean” mean in this context? As our DUI lawyer might offer, do not have anything in plain sight that gives a law enforcement officer probable cause for searching your vehicle. Even if you are clean and sober when they pull you over, if they had justification for pulling you over in the first place (perhaps you were swerving due to being distracted with your MP3 player) they can arrest you on a different charge if they find incriminating evidence. In other words, they may initially pull you over for suspicion of DUI, but if when looking through your window they see an illegal firearm, they might arrest you for a weapons violation. Even if you have something in your vehicle that appears to be illegal but is actually not, they have the legal right to search your car and in that way they may find something. For example:
- If you spill a substance that even looks like cocaine, marijuana, prescription pills, etc. clean it up before you even start the vehicle much less go anywhere. As our DUI lawyer might tell you, appearance is all that is necessary to trigger probably cause.
- Stay in compliance with the gun laws in your state. If you are not legally allowed to have a weapon, or one in plain sight while driving, then do not risk it. Again, they might pull you over for suspicion of DUI but you then end up in jail on weapons charges. Weapons charges are often aggravated when they are in association with the commission of another crime, particularly when that crime is a felony. If you are convicted of a felony DUI and you had a weapon on you at the time of that crime, you are facing serious prison time unless your DUI lawyer is able to successfully intervene on your behalf.
- If you have alcohol in your vehicle, make sure it is not within reach of you while driving. The best place for it is in your locked trunk. Do not drive if there is an open bottle of alcohol anywhere in your vehicle. In fact, do not have open alcohol in your vehicle, period. (Did you know that if you are on public property and are drinking alcohol immediately outside your vehicle that you can be cited for a violation of open container laws?) Even if you were not DUI, having alcohol within reach of your person while driving is just asking for trouble. Avoid the need for a drunk driving lawyer Bloomington, IL relies on by placing your alcohol purchases in the trunk, or if your vehicle does not have one, place them out of reach.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into criminal defense and tips for avoiding a DUI.