DUI enforcement in Orange County is especially vigilant during major holidays, such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and during school breaks. Summer break is no exception, and few things will ruin your much-needed break from tests, finals and exams like a DUI arrest. That said, here are a few tips to avoid an unnecessary drunk driving arrest during your summer break.
1. NEVER KEEP OPEN BOTTLES OF ALCOHOL IN YOUR CAR
It is unlawful to keep an open bottle of alcohol in your vehicle, even if you aren't drinking it. You could face criminal penalties if a passenger is drinking or if you have an opened bottle of liquor sitting in your back seat. If you are taking alcohol to party, keep it in the trunk.
2. DON'T DRINK IF YOU'RE UNDER 21
California's zero tolerance law states that drivers under 21 years-of-age are not allowed to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that exceeds .01%. In other words, underage drivers cannot have any traceable alcohol in their system. Underage drinking is never a good idea, especially during holidays or school breaks.
3. MAKE PLANS TO GET HOME BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Before you hit the road for a party, make plans to get home. Text a friend and ask for a ride or plan to take an Uber or Lyft. Staying prepared is the best way to avoid a drunk driving arrest, especially during high-patrol times like summer vacation.
WHAT TO AVOID AT A DUI CHECKPOINT
Law enforcement may choose to conduct more DUI checkpoints during spring break. If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint, avoid these common mistakes:
- Do not "talk back" – Always treat law enforcement with respect. Talking back might lead to an arrest for obstruction of justice. This guideline applies to passengers and drivers.
- Do not drive erratically – Aggressive driving can constitute "probable cause" for a DUI investigation. Avoid an arrest by driving safely near checkpoints.
- Do not complain about your rights – Many people believe that DUI checkpoints infringe on their constitutional rights. Avoid talking about this at the checkpoint. Instead, talk to your lawyer.
- Do not refuse to cooperate at a checkpoint. Under California law, drivers must obey officers’ orders at sobriety checkpoints. If they refuse, they’ll face criminal charges.
Learn more about DUI arrests and your rights on our website. Arrested? Call our Orange County DUI attorneys today.