Getting a DUI can be one of the worst experiences in a person’s life. The aggravation and social stigma of the arrest bring along a ton of stress. The best way to deal with a DUI is to not get one in the first place. Here are some tips to avoid being convicted of a DUI in Columbus, Georgia:

Don’t drink and drive! It sounds cliché, but really just call a taxi or have a friend drive you home.

Okay, now that we got that out of the way. Here are some tips for driving if you have consumed, but feel you are close to the legal limit.

Always drive safely.

Most DUI stops happen for traffic violations such as speeding, unsafe lane changes, or illegal turns, etc. Be focused and attentive while driving so police officers don’t have a reason to pull you over. As soon as you get in the car, turn on your headlights and fasten your seatbelt. Also, go ahead and turn off the radio and your cell phone or anything else that could divert attention while driving.

Skip driving through a drive-thru fast food restaurant.

Yes, it may seem like a good idea at the time, but many workers are instructed to notify police if they suspect drivers to be intoxicated. Fast food workers may even try to detain you by suggesting your order may take a while and ask you to pull over.

Never agree to take a field sobriety test.

Many offices may ask you to take a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test, which tests for Nystagmus: the involuntary jerking of the eyes. When administered correctly by an officer, and Nystagmus is detected, it can be an indicator that the driver is intoxicated. The problem is many officers do not administer the test correctly and will use evidence from this faulty test as evidence against you. Since the HGN tests, and other field sobriety tests, are voluntary, the best thing to do is not risk it and refuse the test.

Don’t say anything incriminating.

Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. Be respectful and answer an officer’s questions to the point of not incriminating yourself. If the arresting officer insists you answer a question you don’t feel comfortable answering, politely reply you wish to use your Fifth Amendment rights. Besides, if an officer has decided to arrest you there is no way to talk your way out of it and nothing you say is going to help you.

Always decline to take a Preliminary Breathalyzer (PBT) if you are over 21.

If the officer suspects you have been drinking, he or she will probably ask you to blow into a handheld breathalyzer. This is actually a voluntary test, but the officer won’t tell you that. While most states have an implied consent law that requires drivers to submit to a “chemical test” to measure BAC, this is not one of the tests. PBT tests are often inaccurate and police officers can often instruct you to blow into the device in a way that can make it read a BAC higher than it is in actuality. Also, if your BAC is right at the legal limit and it has been a few hours from your last drink, your BAC might actually lower over time. By waiting to take the required test at the police station you might by yourself some time.

Always be on your best behavior.

This is our final tip for someone getting arrested for DUI. Most cop cars now come equipped with a recording device and everything recorded can be used against you in court. Often enraged behavior can be used as evidence for drunken behavior. Be polite and say nothing incriminating. This is also another reason to refuse all tests issued by an officer.

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