July 8, 2015
The best way to avoid a DUI (driving under the influence) arrest is to NOT drive after drinking. It may seem obvious, but the risks do not seem to dissuade many. Take an Uber or cab. Call a friend. Sober up with some pizza. Call and ex-boyfriend/girlfriend. Do what you have to but don’t drive drunk. Besides the risk of being arrested, you could seriously hurt someone or yourself.
Spending $25 to get home safely is money well spent. The average DUI will end up costing you thousands in the long run. Besides paying a good lawyer, you have to pay your bondsman, the DHSMV, your insurance will go up, fines, classes, etc.
“My goal as a DUI defense attorney is to clear my client of all charges if possible.” – Amanda M. Sampaio, Esq.
HOW MANY DRINKS DOES IT TAKE TO BE ABOVE THE LIMIT?
The answer is, “it depends.” It depends on your size, how much food you’ve had to eat, over how long you’ve been drinking, and other factors. A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage you have. Also, not all drinks are equal. One 8oz beer is typically equivalent to one 6oz glass of wine, or one 1oz of liquor. There is no realistic equation for you to calculate how much it will take to get to .08
Remember you can still get convicted of a DUI even if you are below a .08. The standard is whether or not you were impaired! Impairment can be from alcohol or drugs (prescription, OTC, or illegal drugs). Just because you feel ok does not mean you are under the limit. Many people do not feel impaired when they are, in fact, over the legal limit of .08.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE PULLED OVER AND THE POLICE SUSPECT DUI
First, remain calm. Be polite and respectful but keep talking to a minimum. The first thing an officer is going to look for is the odor of alcohol on your breath. They will also look for the following:
- The smell of alcohol on your breath
- Slurred speech
- Red, glassy, or bloodshot eyes
- Inability to find or fumbling your license and registration
- Your admissions (i.e., your answers to “how much have you had to drink”?)
- Your performance on the field tests (see below)
ROADSIDE TESTS AKA FIELD SOBRIETY EXERCISES
Other than the breathalyzer, the tests done on the side of the road are the prosecution’s best evidence against the driver in most cases. These tests are completely subjective, and in court, the arresting officer is allowed to give his or her “opinion” regarding the DUI charge. A skilled lawyer can dissect the officer’s investigation and point out the “reasonable doubt” that surrounds the case.
REMEMBER -not only are they looking to see how well you perform, they are analyzing your every move, word, and lack thereof. If you start an exercise too soon, they will make a note of that and hold it against you.
BEING ARRESTED FOR DUI DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE GUILTY OF DUI
Police officers are human and make mistakes. There are several defenses available, and a skilled attorney may be able to get the charge reduced to a less serious offense or even dismissed. It is essential that the lawyer you hire regularly goes to court, attends DUI seminars, and stays up to date on the current technology, trends, and defenses.
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