How to Avoid a DUI

DUI is one of the few crimes that can happen to anyone at virtually any time in their life.  All it could take is ordering a double at dinner or staying for one more at a gathering.  Obviously, the best way to avoid a DUI is not to drink in the first place.  But, if you do drink and think you may be near the .08 level, a few of the following strategies may help avoid an arrest. 

Search for DUI checkpoints.

Most police agencies make it clear that they are conducting a DUI checkpoint or saturation patrol in a certain area.  You can find out a lot about the possibility by reading their twitter accounts or simply by searching google. 

Keep your car in good working order.

If an officer thinks you may be driving under the influence, but you do not show the signs of intoxicated driving, the officer may pull you over if he or she can identify some minor issue with your car.  A taillight out could spell disaster for your night.  Just fix it, or don’t drive that car if you go out.

Get a ride.

At this point everyone should know to designate a driver for a night out on the town.  If that falls though you can try calling another friend or family member.  Uber or Lyft are also just a click away.  During the holidays, many cities have free or discounted public transportation, taxies, or ride-share programs.

Follow all traffic laws.

Pretextual stops are not prohibited by the constitution.  This means an officer can pull you over for a minor traffic infraction when he or she intends to actually investigate a DUI.  Don’t give them the chance.  Always use your turn signal, watch your speed, and maintain your lane while turning.

Don’t sleep in your car.

In Kansas, you can be convicted of DUI if you attempt to drive drunk but don’t actually drive.  If it looks like you are passed out in your car, you will be arrested for attempting to operate a vehicle while intoxicated.  Keep yourself safe from arrest by staying the night or by getting a hotel.

Watch your guests.

You can help friends and family avoid a DUI by serving food and by offering alcohol alternatives.  If they are not handling themselves or have more than you expected, take their keys, offer them a room or couch, or give them another option for getting home.

Don’t drive late at night.

Make it an early night.  Most DUI’s occur late – around closing time.  Officers are more critical of minor driving errors if they think you may have been out drinking.  Starting your celebration early also gives you the opportunity to sober up or to make other plans for a ride home.

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