Tips for Avoiding a DUI
No one wants to be convicted of drunk driving. Tennessee DUI laws impose harsh penalties on those who are driving while they are intoxicated. A conviction could mean jail time, driver's license suspension, and a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life.
Therefore, it is important to follow some basic tips for avoiding a DUI. Below are ten strategies that can help you to ensure you avoid being investigated, charged or convicted of this serious criminal offense.
10 Tips for Avoiding a Tennessee DUI
- Don't drink before driving. The only way to be 100 percent certain of avoiding a DUI is to never drink and drive. However, it is not illegal to consume alcohol and operate a vehicle. If you choose to consume a moderate amount of alcohol, make sure that you are not over the legal limit.
- Don't admit to drinking while on medication or while fatigued. You can be convicted of drunk driving not just for having a BAC of .08 but also for driving any time you are too impaired to do so safely. Drinking while tired or on medication can impair your concentration and driving ability, so your admission could be used against you to prove you were violating Tennessee DUI laws.
- Don't after 11:00 p.m. The vast majority of DUI traffic stops occur after this time. In fact, many cities have special DUI enforcement officers who take to the streets on this third shift. They are the most experienced and aggressive DUI enforcers.
- Make sure that all equipment on your vehicle is operational and that your license plate is current. In short, do not give the police an easy reason to pull you over in the first place. They must have probable cause to stop you and if they have no valid reason to pull you over, any evidence that they collect cannot be used against you.
- If stopped by the police, always be polite and aware of his/her safety. Try to pull over carefully and without delay. Don't stop in the roadway without leaving a safe place for the officer to pull over. By following this advice, you demonstrate that you are thinking clearly and rationally. Make sure when the officer approaches that you look at him and keep your hands on the top of the steering wheel to let him know you are safe and thinking clearly.
- Be cautious when answering questions. Questions regarding the consumption of alcohol should be answered honestly, but without being too specific.
- Decline field sobriety tests. If asked to do roadside field sobriety tests, politely explain to the officer that you have nothing to hide and you don't want to be difficult. However, you would prefer not to perform these tests as they are often unreliable. These tests have a reliability rate of only 65-77% according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, be aware that refusing to submit to these tests will accelerate your arrest.
- Always be on your best behavior. Most jurisdictions have in-car video equipment. Always assume that everything you do and say will be recorded for your prosecution.
- Be cautious about agreeing to a breath test. The decision to take a breath test is a difficult one to make. Until Tennessee adopts "dual testing" (taking two breath samples), it is recommended that you politely decline to take a breath test as these tests can also be unreliable. Dual testing is recommended by the federal government to ensure accurate results. Tennessee refuses to adopt this standard for unknown reasons.
- Write down your story. Upon being released from jail, immediately write a narrative of all events from the time the officer stopped you to the time you were released. Try to remember and record everything to the smallest detail.
Finally, the last and best tip is to retain an experienced TN DUI lawyer to represent your interests. Your attorney should have extensive experience representing DUI clients in Tennessee so you will have the best possible chance to avoid conviction and serious criminal penalties.
I help good people restore their lives
-Lee Martin is a Nashville criminal defense lawyer who has gained national recognition as a DUI and criminal defense attorney. With over a decade of experience, he knows how to get results in DUI cases. If you are seeking an experienced DUI defense attorney, use his experiences to your advantage. If you need help with a pending DUI charge, give him a call at 615-345-1988.
National Trial Lawyers Top 100 in the areas of DUI and criminal defense.