During the holiday season in Michigan and other states, law enforcement officials often take a tough stance on drinking and driving. So if you do get pulled over by police, be prepared to be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol.
A DUI charge can have a huge impact on your life. You could lose your driver’s license temporarily or have it suspended. You might be fined hundreds or thousands of dollars. And depending on whether you have been previously convicted of DUI or other circumstances of your arrest, your DUI charge could result in jail time or imprisonment.
This is why drivers should do whatever they can to avoid a holiday DUI arrest this season. Otherwise, your life as you know it could be changed dramatically. Below, you can find a few tips for avoiding a DUI arrest in Michigan. And if you are charged with driving under the influence, make sure you have an experienced Michigan DUI defense attorney from Manley & Manley handling your case.
How to avoid a holiday DUI arrest
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, local and state police in Michigan will be out in full force as part of the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In order to avoid being pulled over and arrested for DUI in Michigan, drivers should consider taking certain steps during the holiday season.
Don’t drink alcohol
You can choose to celebrate the season without drinking alcohol, especially if you have to drive home later. We realize this might not seem like a lot of fun. But consider the alternative. Would you rather spend New Year’s Eve or another night this holiday season in the back of a patrol car or in a prison cell? Consider drinking non-alcoholic beverages while you’re out celebrating with family and friends.
Have a designated driver
If you do decide to have a few drinks at a holiday gathering, plan ahead. “We’re asking everyone to take personal responsibility this holiday season by making a plan for a safe ride home before your celebrations begin,” according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). And one of the best ways to do this is to have a designated driver who’s sober and who agrees to drive you and everyone else home.
Use a rideshare service
If you don’t have a designated driver or if your designated driver decides to drink, you can always get a rideshare service to drive you home. Uber, Lyft and other rideshare companies service many communities in Michigan. Spend a few extra dollars on a rideshare drive home. It could end up saving you thousands of dollars in DUI fines and other penalties.
Host a holiday party
Worried about drinking and driving during the holidays? Host a holiday party yourself. That way, you don’t have to worry about being pulled over by police for drinking too much. Also, make sure that everyone at your party has a designated driver or arrange for a rideshare company driver to pick up your guests. That way, you won’t have to worry about your friends getting arrested or involved in a DUI accident.
What to do if stopped for DUI
Every DUI stop is different. But in general, if you are stopped for suspicion of DUI in Michigan, you should:
- Keep your hands visible at all times when interacting with police.
- Follow the police officer’s instructions.
- Keep your answers short. “Yes sir” and “No ma’am” are suitable answers to most questions.
- Don’t consent to a field sobriety test. You’re not required to take one in Michigan.
- As soon as possible, call a Michigan DUI lawyer. The sooner you have an attorney handling your case, the better.
Contact a Michigan DUI Defense Attorney
We cannot stress enough how important it is to have a DUI defense lawyer handling your legal case as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you could be fined, lose your driver’s license, and even be sentenced to several days, months, or years in prison. This is especially true if it’s your second or third DUI offense.
An experienced DUI defense lawyer at Manley & Manley in Flint, MI can help you every step of the way. We’re familiar with the mistakes police officers make during a DUI arrest – from stopping someone without probable cause to failing to inform you of your legal rights if the officer decides to charge you with a DUI. We also know how to thoroughly investigate DUI cases and find the evidence you need to build a successful defense.
If you have been charged with DUI in Michigan, contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation with a Michigan DUI defense attorney you can count on in a crisis.