DUI Dos and Don'ts
The first and best way to avoid a DUI is, of course, to avoid driving while impaired. Use a designated driver. Call a commercial designated driver program if you have had a few too many (in the Twin Cities, services like Drink and Drive Intelligently (651-338-1425) or Dry Drivers (651-491-9363) provide you AND your car a ride home). Know your limits. BAC Calculators can help you estimate whether you would fail a breathalyzer. The short version is, be safe.
Failing that, what happens if you get pulled over for Driving Under the Influence? What should you do, and what should you not do?
- DO be polite and courteous with police. You will NEVER help yourself by being rude or especially assaulting police.
- DO take a breathalyzer test if requested. Minnesota is an "implied consent" state, which means it is a crime to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer. In fact, the penalties for refusing to take a breathalyzer test can be more severe than driving drunk. In almost all circumstances, you are better off taking the breath test, even if you think you will fail it.
- DO pay attention to the officer's name and, if possible, badge number.
- DO sign a traffic citation if you receive one. Signing a traffic ticket is just agreeing that you received it; it is not an admission of guilt.
- DO write down your own version of what happened as soon as possible. It will help you remember later and may help you if your case goes to trial.
- Finally, DO call a lawyer immediately if you are arrested, and refuse to answer any questions other than your identifying information.
- DO NOT, ever, verbally or physically assault a police officer. This will subject you to much more serious charges.
- DO NOT lie to police officers. Again, this is far more likely to land you in greater trouble than it is to get you out of it.
- DO NOT answer any questions about your evening or how much you have been drinking. You have a right not to answer questions. Exercise it.
- DO NOT sign anything except a normal traffic ticket.
By following these steps, you can keep yourself out of trouble, or at least, keep the trouble you are already in from getting worse.
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