After successfully handling over 3,000 DUI cases, there are a few recurring themes on how folks run into trouble. First recommendation for avoiding a DUI is not to put yourself in the situation in the first place (aka “Booze it, Loose it”). Rest assured, not only can a DUI damage your reputation, your family life, lead to loss of employment, lose of driving privileges, effect handgun carry permit, etc. it’s also very dangerous business. Practically speaking, a $10-$60 cab or ride sharing service can save you around $20,000! If you do find yourself in need of a Knoxville DUI attorney, please call 865-540-8300 or fill out our online contact form.
1. Thinking that it won’t happen to me. There’s a first time for everyone. Just because you’ve got away with it for the last 10 years, doesn’t mean another 10 will last.
2. “Belief” that a couple glasses of water or cup of coffee will make you alert or sober. Water or a cup of coffee doesn’t make you sober, just more hydrated and drunk or more awake and drunk. Time is the only way to truly sober up.
3. People often ask what should I tell an officer if he or she asks if I’ve had something to drink? Do I tell the truth? Although the author cannot recommend giving a false statement to an officer (potentially a crime), rest assured that ANY admission of drinking an alcoholic beverage will likely lead to the necessary “probable cause” that an officer needs for your arrest. You always have a right to remain silent! Exercise it!!
4. Always be nice to officers. Cooperative doesn’t mean you have to incriminate yourself. Simply being polite and being kind is more likely to lead to NOT being arrested or at the very least makes your case far more defendable down the road.
5. To blow or not to blow (to give blood or not): Although refusing a test can possibly lead to your loss of license, this is not an automatic action. When in doubt, providing additional evidence will likely lead to a stronger case against you. It is your right to refuse a blood or breath test.
6. Make sure your headlights, taillights, running lights, reverse lights, blinkers, even your license plate lights are all in working order. Don’t give someone an additional reason to pull you over. Remember that registration sticker you got in the mail? As soon as it comes in the mail, GO to your car and put it on. There is no need to give police a perfectly valid reason to pull you over when you’ve potentially been drinking.
7. Motorcycles. Although it is technically legal to have a drink, and for some of us, two drinks and drive a car, I do not recommend driving a motorcycle under any circumstances. Give yourself a chance to avoid an accident; don’t throw your leg over that bike if you’ve had ANYTHING to drink.
Best Ways to Avoid A DUI
1. Don’t drink when you go out. Leave the drinking for when you are safely at home.
2. Plan, plan, plan. Arrange a ride at the beginning of the night, before your decision-making is altered in anyway. Don’t drive to the bar…have someone drive you and then you can’t drive back.
3. Go ahead, download the taxi app, the Uber app—fill in the credit card info to make the ordering easier and quicker later, arrange for a sober ride in advance of your potentially impaired decision making… A cab is always cheaper than a DUI.
Marcos Garza is the owner of Garza Law Firm, PLLC, a Tennessee Law Firm dedicated to the full service of motorcyclists, bikers, cruiser and crotch rocket riders across the state. Please direct all comments and follow up questions to him at (865) 540-8300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.