The weather's good; you're on holiday; and you're in the mood for fun. That's great, but don't let a Spring Break DUI ruin your trip.
If you're heading out to have a good time, there's a good chance you and your friends will be doing some drinking. That in itself isn't a big deal; but if you're planning on driving home the same day or night, or even early the next morning, it's not a good idea. In Georgia, there is zero tolerance towards drunk driving, especially for those who are underage – and the penalties are severe regardless of whether it's a first offense or not.
If you are not drinking – or a friend isn't – the best thing to do is for one of you to be the designated driver who will drive you all home safely.
If you've been drinking, the best choice you can make is to avoid getting behind the wheel. Do not drive. It's that simple. And do everything possible to stop others from doing so too. Unfortunately, many times people who have been drinking think themselves still capable of driving and get behind the wheel.
In reality, many people do drive after consuming alcohol and if you're pulled over in this situation, you need to know what you should and should not do. You also need to be aware of the possible consequences of drinking and driving, particularly if you are convicted of a DUI.
How to Stop Friends From Drinking and Driving
Stopping a drunk person from driving can be enormously challenging, particularly if you've been drinking yourself. But there are some tips that usually help:
- Be non-confrontational to prevent an argument.
- Ask other sober friends to back you up. It's usually more difficult to refuse advice from two or three people rather than one.
- If you can, take car keys away from anyone who is drunk or obviously under the influence.
- Call a cab, uber, or find a sober driver to drive your friend's car.
- Suggest staying over where you are – and stay with your friend if necessary.
- Talk slowly and explain everything fully to ensure the inebriated person understands what you are saying and doing.
- Ensure they know you are helping and that you care. Explain that you don't want anyone to be hurt.
What to Do If You're Pulled Over
Tens of thousands of people get pulled over for suspected DUI during holidays and seasonal breaks, including the annual spring break. If it happens to you:
- Pull over immediately and be polite.
- Produce your driver's license, registration documents and proof of insurance.
- Don't volunteer information other than your name and address. Remember you have a right to remain silent. You should never reply to questions about where you've been and whether (or how much) you have been drinking.
- Never resist arrest or argue with law enforcement officers.
- Don't get out of your car unless you are told to, and if you do, don't lean against the vehicle.
- Never agree to blow into handheld Alcosensor units or do field sobriety tests.
Whether you intend drinking and driving or not, always have your lawyer's number with you, just in case you are pulled over and arrested. If you're planning to contact a member of the Don Turner Legal Team, be aware that we are only licensed in the state of Georgia and won't be able to help if you get a DUI across state lines, in Florida for example.
Consequences of a DUI
The only way to completely avoid any consequences from a DUI is to not drink and drive. Obviously the worst thing that can happen, is you are in an accident causing injury or death – and sadly this happens all too often.
A DUI conviction will, among other possible punishments, result in 12 months probation, suspension of your driver's license, completion of a DUI/Risk Reduction Class, an Alcohol and Drug Evaluation community service, and of course, potentially jail time.
In addition, the financial burden this could have is hugely significant: license reinstatement fees, court fines, bail costs, program/condition fees, and likely increased insurance premiums. Total costs can easily amount to $10,000 or more.
Again, the only way to avoid getting a DUI, is to NOT drink and drive. But, if you find yourself in this situation in the state of Georgia, the experienced Don Turner Legal Team can help with legal advice and court representation.