With the holidays comes a lot of fun with family and friends, and that often includes adult beverages. DUI arrests rise significantly during Christmas and New Year’s, and police officers are out and about looking for any possible sign of a drunk driver. Unfortunately, many holiday DUI arrests are made in error. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself from spending your Christmas in jail waiting on bail.
Avoid Sobriety Checkpoints When Possible
Many people believe that sobriety checkpoints are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, but the Supreme Court has ruled that the benefit of getting drunk drivers off the road outweighs the inconvenience of every driver being stopped during a checkpoint. Unfortunately, this means that if you go through a checkpoint, your vehicle can be searched and you can be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test without any probable cause. If you know there will be sobriety checkpoints, plan alternative routes going to and from holiday get togethers.
Refuse Field Sobriety Tests
If you are stopped by the police under the suspicion of drinking and driving, you have the right to refuse field sobriety tests without legal consequence. You should absolutely let the officer know — politely — that you decline to submit to field sobriety testing. Field sobriety tests are generally unreliable anyways, and stone cold sober people have failed them many times. Additionally, the roads may be icy, snowy, or otherwise slick during holiday weather, or you may be wearing a pair of heels on your way to or from a holiday party. All of these things can lead to false failure, causing the officer to believe you are inebriated even if you aren’t.
Write Down Notes About What Happened As Soon As You Can
If you are pulled over and arrested for drunk driving during the holidays, write down what happened as soon as you are able to. The longer you wait, the less details you will remember. Write down if the sobriety checkpoint detained you for an unreasonable amount of time, or if the officer failed to monitor you for a period of time before asking you to submit to a breathalyzer test. Write down everything you can remember before, during, and after the stop, because these details may become the proof needed to have the charges against you dismissed or reduced.
Contact an Experienced Maryland DUI Lawyer Today
If you were arrested for a DUI during the holidays, don’t wait for legal representation. Contact Richard Brueckner today at 410-430-1464.