5 Ways to Avoid a DUI Conviction

by Criminal Defence Blawg on August 8, 2012

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Don't drink and drive

The following is a guest criminal defence blog post outlining ways to avoid a DUI conviction (and yes, number one on the list is indeed don’t drink and drive in the first place!)

Most drivers are well aware of the consequences of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. After just one or two drinks, your reaction times will slow and you are far more likely to be involved in a car accident, even if you think you are sober enough to get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to make a mistake and begin driving after a few drinks. If you are pulled over while driving and you have been drinking, an officer will likely analyze your breath for alcohol and escort you to jail. However, being arrested does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. Conviction brings with it suspension of your license, big fines, and significant increases in your car insurance payments each months. Here are five ways to avoid getting a DUI conviction.

1. Don’t Drink and Drive

Ultimately, this piece of advice is the most important. There is only one way to avoid a DUI or DWI conviction, and that is to never get behind the wheel of a car if you have been drinking.

2. Avoid Certain Guilty Scenarios

Unfortunately, there are many cases where individuals try to do the right thing but are still punished for their actions. For example, if you have been drinking and you put your key in the ignition of the car to turn on the heat and take a nap, you could still be charged with a DUI. To avoid any scenarios where you look guilty, simply avoid them entirely. If you have been drinking and you want to rest in your car, lay on the backseat and avoid placing the key in the ignition at all.

3. Refuse Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are administered by the arresting police officer and may not be entirely accurate. In fact, police officers may have already made up their mind before the test starts. Instead, opt for an accurate reading back at the police station with a properly administered blood or breath test, especially if you feel that you are not over the state limit for blood alcohol percentage. [editor’s note: this rule differs between jurisdictions; in the UK, for instance, it can be an offence not to provide a roadside breathalyzer test. Thanks to leading Canadian lawyer Antonin Pribetic for clarifying this point.]

4. Be Polite and Compliant

Being difficult or combative in these situations can only make it worse. Be polite to the arresting officer, speak clearly, and avoid any arguments. If you are disruptive at this point, your words can come back to haunt you at a trial or a hearing.

5. Hire a Qualified Lawyer

If you were arrested for driving under the influence, the best step you can take to avoid a conviction is to hire a lawyer who has ample experience in these cases. A lawyer can help plead your case and will know how to best avoid a conviction.

Since a conviction can bring with it many serious consequences, it is best never to drink and drive. If you do, however, use these tips to avoid a DUI conviction.

Kevin Desir is a freelance writer for carinsurance.org.uk. If your auto insurance rates went up after a DUI conviction, you can visit the website to find cheaper insurance.

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal law blogger at CriminalDefenceBlawg
Criminal Defence Blawg is a criminal law blog, sharing legal expertise and intelligence from the UK, US, Australia and beyond. Contributions from those who share great legal information. Want to get published? Contact us today.
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