The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our freedom and to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It is also a time we get together with friends, family members and loved ones for barbeques, picnics, parades and fireworks displays. Alcohol is often involved in these gatherings, and as such we need to be aware of the consequences of drinking and driving and what we can do to avoid a DUI arrest.
With the understanding that law enforcement officers will be out in increased numbers, patrolling Orange County roads, and that you may encounter a sobriety checkpoint, it is of the utmost importance that you take care when taking part of Independence Day celebrations. This includes both Thursday and Friday nights and weekend festivities. The following are a few helpful tips our DUI lawyers can offer:
- Call a taxi, use a driving service like Uber, or designate a driver if you are planning on going out.
- Stay informed about DUI patrols and checkpoints in your area by checking online.
- If you are pulled over by a patrol officer or stopped at a checkpoint, stay calm. Sober or not, being stopped can be an unsettling experience. Try to remain calm and be polite to the officer or officers you deal with.
- Watch what you say and do if you are pulled over. The officer may ask you questions about how much you have had to drink, in an attempt to determine whether you are intoxicated. You are under no obligation to answer such questions and should politely refuse.
- If you are asked to step out of the vehicle, do so. If you are asked to perform field sobriety tests, you have the right to politely refuse, which we recommend if you believe taking these tests may give the officer a reason to arrest you for DUI.
- Do not take a roadside breath test. A Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Test such as this can be refused without penalty.
- If you are arrested, take the breath test or blood test. Refusing a chemical test after an arrest may result in license suspension and other penalties.
- Invoke your right to an attorney. If you are arrested and taken into custody, remember that you have the right to remain silent and you have the right to an attorney. Invoke these rights and protect your interests.
If you want to talk to a legal professional about your rights and options in the face of a DUI arrest, please do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry today. We are experienced, driven and ready to fight for drivers' rights in the face of these often technical and complex charges.