As I’ve mentioned before, getting pulled over for a DUI is one of the scarier things that can happen to a person. The threat of a DUI charge can cause people to act in ways they normally wouldn’t, especially if they’ve had a bit to drink. The best way to avoid a DUI is to not do anything to get yourself pulled over in the first place. Here’s what you should be doing if you’re going out for a night cap or attending a party where there is social drinking involved.
- Make sure to eat something while you’re drinking. It will help slow down the intake of alcohol into your system. When you drink on an empty stomach, the alcohol is absorbed more quickly and your blood alcohol content (BAC) rises at a faster rate than if you are eating. Have some pretzels or other appetizer foods and spread out the alcohol so you don’t end up with that dreaded 0.08 percent BAC.
- Keep your car in good condition. Having a light out or an expired tag is enough to get you pulled over. This is especially true at night when cops can easily pull you over for a burned-out headlight or failing blinker.
- Follow traffic laws. While you should always follow the law, follow it even closer if you’ve had a bit to drink. Don’t forget to use your signal light when changing lanes and stick to the speed limit. You don’t want to give an officer any reason to pull you over and do a field sobriety test.
- Keep your driver’s license, registration, and insurance information in easy-to-access places. If you fumble around for those items, that’s going to go on the officer’s report as reasonable suspicion to do a field sobriety test.
- Keep informed about DUI checkpoints in the area and avoid them. If you are an L.A. local, look to Mr. Checkpoint on Twitter. Otherwise, most DUI crackdowns are required to be mentioned in a public forum, usually on a local police website or in the community paper. Know where these checkpoints are and plan a route around them.
- Stay focused on the task of driving. Although you may be able to hold a phone conversation and switch radio stations when you’re sober, don’t do it if you’ve been drinking. Your reaction time is slower, and you need all of your concentration on the road to avoid even small swerves.
- I’m not going to tell you not to drink to avoid a DUI: That one is common sense. However, having a designated driver is a good idea. If you are caught driving while impaired, it can cause all kinds of problems in your everyday life. If you get in an accident, it can be even worse because you could be responsible for ending someone else’s.
While these are all good ways to avoid a DUI, the real focus should be on driving safely and getting yourself home without an accident. If you feel like you’ve had too much to drink to drive safely, call a friend or call a cab and get a ride home.
By Ted Burgess