Obviously, the best, and most sure way to avoid DUI conviction, is to not consume alcohol. It is not even enough to only drink a bit so your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is below the legal limit. Any measurable amount of alcohol in your system can lead to a DUI charge if the officer feels you are under the influence of alcohol (see my article here: https://www.markagallagher.com/socaldefenselawyers/2013/09/18/dui-under-08/). So, the best way to avoid DUI conviction is simply to not drink.
Now let’s be real for a bit, most people drive with a measurable amount of alcohol in their system fairly regularly. Whether you are coming home from a wedding, a concert, a dinner party, happy hour, whatever it may be, and had something to drink, there is a danger of you getting a DUI. You see, you don’t have to be driving erratically to get pulled over by the police. All a police officer needs to pull you over is “probable cause.” This comes in the form of your breaking any one of the hundreds of traffic laws. Once the officer pulls you over, he can ask you all sorts of questions to see whether you have been drinking. The best way to avoid a DUI, aside from not drinking and driving, is to not break minor traffic laws. I have compiled a list of precautions to take, and things to avoid, should you decide to drive with alcohol in your system. Don’t give the officer a reason to pull you over!
3 Best ways to Avoid DUI conviction
What reasons to cops use to pull vehicles over and start a DUI investigation? What can you do to avoid DUI conviction? Here is a checklist of 3 practical things you can watch for, because we know for sure the cops are watching
A) Locations and Driving time
Put yourself in the large and heavy boots of a police officer. Where would a police officer go to nab people for drunk driving? Places where alcohol is served: bars, nightclubs, concerts, sports games, large weddings. This is also true of happy hours, late nights and weekends; police officers are not stupid: they know where to find the drinks. Obviously, if you are leaving one of these events, be on the lookout and be careful. Even if you are just driving through an area that has bars and nightclubs, know that police are going to be nearby looking for any excuse to pull someone over. If you are driving home, avoid these areas. Take a different route home to avoid these areas. While it may take you a little longer, you are less likely to run into a bored police officer.
B) Make sure your vehicle doesn’t stand out
People like to be individuals. They like to stand out. When you are trying to avoid police, however, standing out is a very bad thing. While making your car stand out is not a crime, it does catch the eye of police officers and they are more likely to watch your behavior and catch you in a minor traffic violation. Here are some other ways to make sure your vehicle is not standing out and and avoid giving an officer a legal reason to pull you over:
1. Tail Lights: make sure they work. A broken taillight is a violation and people get pulled over for it ALL the time.
2. Headlights: make sure they work, and make sure they are on. Someone driving without their headlights on is like waiving a flag that says “please pull me over.”
3. Tinted Windows: I see this one all the time. It doesn’t even matter if you bought the car that way. There are laws regarding your window tint. Read them and heed them.
4. Registration: you have a bright, colorful sticker on the back of your car that gives the month and year your registration expires. All the cop has to do is glance at the back of your car to see if it’s expired. Keep it up to date.
5. Things hanging from your rear-view mirror: believe it or not, I have seen someone get charged with a DUI because the officer initially pulled them over because they had an abundance of things hanging from their rear view mirror. The rule is that things hanging from you rear view mirror cannot cause an obstructed view. While you may not think your view is obstructed by your beads and graduation tassels, the officer might and it gives him an excuse to pull you over.
6: Loud Music: It’s a violation to listen to your music too loud. Cops love to pull people over for this. Turn it down. Besides, it annoys everyone around you.
C) Driving Habits
As I said before, there are hundreds of laws regarding how we should drive. It’s difficult to drive a few feet without breaking some minor traffic offense. When the cops are on the prowl, however, they are looking for people breaking these minor offenses. This list is by no means exhaustive; these are just some of the reasons I see most often:
1) Lane Changes: use your blinker. Not only is it illegal to make a lane change without it, but the officer can say you were swerving.
2) Carpool Lanes: Don’t drive in them solo.
3) Yellow Light, Red Light: If you can stop before the light turns red, do it. Don’t speed up. Especially if you have been drinking and are trying to avoid getting pulled over. Of course, if you have been drinking a lot, the color of the light won’t matter much.
4) Speed: drive the speed limit. Not over, not under.
5) Solid Lines: Be careful about crossing solid lines. Know when you can and when you can’t. I saw a DUI case once where the reason the cop pulled them over, initially, was because they had crossed those little white lines when exiting the freeway; you know, the ones that guide you where to go on the off ramp? I didn’t even know it was illegal to cross those. It is.
6) Rolling Stops: Stop all the way at stop signs and red lights before you turn right. I had a driving instructor once tell me that you know you have stopped completely when your car bounces back a little.
7) Limit Lines: stop behind them. I see people get pulled over for not stopping behind the limit line most frequently at lights and stop signs. You are to stop before the first line you come to, not the second.
There you have it. Again, the best way to avoid DUI conviction is not to drink and drive at all. If you are going to have a little something to drink, however, and then drive, don’t give the police officers a reason to pull you over. If you find yourself pulled over for a DUI, give The Law Offices of Mark Gallagher a call. We can help. 800-797-8406.