DUI arrests spike around the holidays in Michigan
Many adults choose to enjoy alcohol during holiday celebrations. After all, this is the season to eat, drink, and be merry! However, there is nothing jolly about getting a Michigan DUI.
During the winter celebration season, Michigan police regularly conduct special programs to combat drunk driving and step-up overall traffic violation enforcement. To avoid a holiday DUI, make a plan to avoid becoming one of the drivers who get caught up in annual enforcement campaigns.
5 tips to avoid a holiday DUI
Manley & Manley is a criminal and DUI defense law firm with more than 70 years of combined experience helping people fight charges in Michigan. We know what it takes to beat a DUI in Flint, Flushing, Ann Arbor, Genesee County, and communities throughout Michigan.
If you're planning on celebrating, here are 5 tips that can help prevent a DUI over the holidays.
- Don't drink. An almost guaranteed way to avoid a DUI is not to drink at all. We say "almost" because even sober people who haven't had a sip of alcohol in years can still get arrested for DUI.
- Designate a sober driver. Establish a designated driver (DD) before celebrations begin and have a backup plan ready in case they decide to consume alcohol themselves.
- Eat up! Eating food and drinking nonalcoholic beverages reduces alcohol's effect on the body. High-protein foods like meat, cheese, and nuts are especially good at absorbing alcohol.
- Get an Uber, Lyft, taxi, etc. Download a rideshare app, like Uber or Lyft, and sign up for an account. You could also have the contact information of a taxi or car service available to take you back home.
- Host the party at your place. If you aren't in a car, a police officer can't pull you over. If you like to host parties, think about hosting a holiday gathering at your house.
If you do get a DUI arrest over the holiday ...
In general, police officers in Michigan don't need a BAC level test to make a DUI arrest as long as they have a "reasonable suspicion" a driver is intoxicated or otherwise impaired. That's why, sometimes, a DUI arrest is unavoidable. If you are arrested over the holidays in Michigan for a DUI, here's what you should do:
- Stay calm. This can be difficult when you are being arrested, but you do not want to provide police with something they can use as evidence against you in court.
- Be polite. Use "sir" or "ma'am" when addressing the officer. Keep your answers short; "yes" and "no" will work in most situations.
- You have a choice to make. If you are asked to take a field sobriety test, know that you are not required to do so. These tests are subjective, and participation by the driver is voluntary.
- Understand implied consent. You may be asked to take a chemical test after being arrested for a DUI. This could be either a blood test or a breath test conducted at the jail or police department. This equipment measures a person's blood alcohol level by analyzing the chemicals in their breath or blood. Under Michigan law, submitting to a BAC test is mandatory for drivers if legally requested by law enforcement. Refusing to take a breathalyzer or similar test means your driver's license will be automatically suspended for one year or more. However, some people would rather refuse the test than supply police with alleged "evidence."
- Use your rights. You have the right to remain silent - whether you are under arrest or not. The 5th amendment protects against self-incrimination. That means you do not have to answer police questions if the answers might make you a suspect in a crime or otherwise land you in legal trouble. State that you are using your 5th amendment right to silence and decline to answer questions.
- Contact a Michigan DUI defense attorney. You also have the right to have your attorney present during police questioning. An attorney can protect your freedom and assert your rights when dealing with the police and in court. If you were arrested or believe you will be charged with a Michigan DUI, contact Manley & Manley as soon as possible.
Get relentless defense from our Michigan DUI defense lawyers
If you were arrested, don't expect the matter to simply go away or think that the DUI charge is only a minor concern. You can never be too careful when it comes to your freedom, and you need to get the right legal assistance to defend you aggressively.
Manley & Manley is known for our time-tested DUI defense strategies and relentless pursuit of the best outcomes for our clients. Contact our law firm for a free case evaluation if you are facing a DUI charge in Michigan. At no cost to you, we can explain how the law applies to your situation and help you decide what to do next.
Don't delay. Begin developing your defensive strategy today. A member of our team is available to hear from you any time, day or night.