• DUI during Christmas

    Author : White Collar Firm December 23, 2016

    This time of year in the United States can be so festive: shopping bonanzas, the hope for snow, sparkly lights… egg nog. But too much of any of these can be bad – especially the egg nog! The holiday season is prime time for DUI arrests. If it happens to you, or someone you know, there are many things you can do to help your case, especially if it was a first-time incident, and no one was harmed.

    After you’re arrested, booked and charged, you can help yourself the most by consulting with an experienced DUI attorney in the jurisdiction where you were arrested. This is the number one best thing you can do to help your cases. These attorneys have tried tons of DUI’s, and probably are on good working terms with the prosecutors and judges. They will be able to tell you what to expect, and how to start negotiating a beneficial result to your case without having to go to court. Yes, it can be very expensive. But DUI’s can have lasting effects, especially if you are in the middle of a family law case, or you rely on your car and driver’s license to get to work.

    Next, show the court that you are willing to take steps to address your problem by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or seeking out private counseling. Make sure you finish whatever program you choose to completion to show that you are serious about rehabilitating yourself. Your attorney might also be able to recommend good, court-approved programs. Even if you do not think you have a problem, in the long run, this will really have an impact on your case and at swaying the prosecutor to leniency.

    If you have a suspended license during the case, do not drive with it. This will only make your situation worse. If you must drive, talk to your attorney about obtaining an occupational license. Many states offer these while your licensed is suspended. There are strict limitations, such as the mileage, times of day, and locations you can drive. These licenses are primarily reserved for driving to and from work, or picking up any children you might have.

    If you are not guilty, make sure your attorney has access to all the evidence. For example, if there is video evidence of a field sobriety test, make sure your attorney gets it. In many cases, the video and the officer’s report can have discrepancies, which make for a more compelling defense. It is important to act quickly – if there is an accident, there might be physical accident at the scene that should be gathered and recorded. Encourage your attorney to visit the scene shortly after it happens to take their own pictures and gather their own perspectives. This can also include an independent blood test. Even if your jurisdiction doesn’t offer this, upon arrest, if your blood is tested in jail, request that an independent blood test be administered. This can be good evidence in the event it is lower than the state’s test. However, this is only to be used if you were not actually intoxicated – otherwise, it is risky and might be subpoenaed by the state to bolster their case. It can also be helpful if, immediately after the incident, you write down everything that you can recall from the night. Give a copy of your recollection to your attorney – they can compare and contrast your narrative with that of the arresting officer, and once again, see if there are any discrepancies that might help your case.

    Overall, your actions at the initial stop can really affect the outcome of your case. Check out the earlier post about ‘What to do during a traffic stop’ to learn more about your rights when interacting with the police.

    Bottom line – the best way to beat a DUI this holiday season is to get a sober ride home. Invest in a taxi that night. Uber is nearly everywhere, and if your city offers public transportation, don’t be a snob and take it home. Phone a friend. This time of year will be significantly less festive if you’re arrested, or worse, you injure or kill someone because of your actions. Get a ride.

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