The holidays are here! Being out at bars and restaurants with friends and family is all part of the seasonal celebrations.
For many, those celebrations could include a drink or two.
For some, those celebrations could mean a costly Jacksonville DUI Holiday Checkpoint encounter.
Around major holidays, law enforcement officers deploy an increased number of DUI checkpoints throughout the area to catch impaired drivers.
Costs of DUI
Those caught driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs (even prescriptions) could face:
- Hefty fines
- Suspended driver’s license for a minimum of 6 months to a year
- Criminal record that will last a lifetime
- Towing fees
DUI expenses can cost individuals an average of $10,000. Without a driver’s license, you could face challenges getting to and from work, which could lead to loss of employment.
Before we talk about what to do when encountering a DUI checkpoint, let’s discuss ways you can prevent DUI issues.
How to Celebrate, Have Fun and Avoid DUIs
Best way to avoid a DUI charge and conviction is to make a plan before celebrating. While thinking about where you’re going to have a fun evening, plan on how you’re getting home.
- In a group? Designate a sober driver. Bonus Tip: Contact the bar or restaurant you’re visiting to see if they have any designated driver incentives.
- No designated driver? Call a cab, Uber/Lyft driver or a friend or family member to pick you up.
- Drinking at a friend or family party? Ask to spend the night (if you’re the host, be a friend and take the keys away from impaired partiers)
When Encountering a Sobriety Checkpoint – Don’t Panic and Know Your Rights!
Checkpoints can be stressful. Especially if you’ve had a drink or two. If that’s the case, here are some tips to follow that can help you out in this situation.
Prepare Paperwork Ahead of Time: Keep your registration and proof of insurance clipped together and easily accessible. No need to fumble around your car under watchful law enforcement eyes looking for signs of impairment.
Keep Quiet, Remain Silent & Don’t Say Anything: Get the picture? Hand the officer your documentation and let him do all the talking. No need to volunteer information that could be used against you later.
You Don’t Have to Perform Field Sobriety Exercises: If asked to step out of the vehicle, be respectful and do as the officer says. If the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that you’re impaired from alcohol or a controlled substance, he is likely going to request that you perform field sobriety exercises. These exercises are VOLUNTARY. If you have a medical condition or injury that may affect your ability to perform the exercises, respectfully inform the officer of the condition. Although your refusal to perform field sobriety exercises could be used against you in court of law, it is best not to provide a performance influenced by intoxication, a medical condition, poor balance, or nervousness that could prove detrimental to your case.
If Arrested, Be Polite and Request Your Lawyer: Once you are placed under arrest and in handcuffs for DUI, you are going to jail regardless of what you say or do. You will not be successful in talking your way out of an arrest. Remain silent and respectfully request that an attorney be present before answering any questions. The more you speak, the more evidence you are providing the officer to use against you.
Fusco Law Group is always available to be by your side when you need us. Keep our number handy and if you have any questions, give us a call at (904) 567-3113.