Avoiding a DUI in North Alabama
DUI Defense Lawyers in Huntsville, AL | Crumbley-Blackwell & Associates, P.C.
If you’re arrested for DUI in the State of Alabama – you could have to put your entire life on hold to deal with the ramifications. Know your rights – and contact an experienced Huntsville DUI Attorney. Being arrested for DUI is something that no one hopes to experience – luckily, there are ways to help avoid a DUI arrest and the consequences associated. This article covers some quick tips on how to avoid a DUI in North Alabama and what you should do if you are caught driving under the influence in North Alabama.
Don’t Drink & Drive
This is the best way to avoid getting charged with a DUI. If you are going to consume alcohol, plan ahead to leave your vehicle, have a designated driver present, call a taxi, use public transportation, sleep over or walk. No matter what you choose to do, driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol should not be one of the options.
Know Your Limit, Stay Within It
Huntsville, Athens, Decatur, and surrounding areas in North Alabama Alabama do not have a “zero tolerance” law on driving and alcohol, meaning it is not an illegal action to operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. There is however a prescribed legal blood-alcohol level limit that the driver must remain under in order to legally operate a vehicle. If your blood alcohol level or BAC is above the legal limit then you are risking a DUI charge as you are deemed to be “incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle”.
Sleeping In Your Vehicle
Sleeping off your intoxication in your vehicle is a legal act but make sure you follow these guidelines so that you do not get into trouble. Never be in physical control of your vehicle while intoxicated and sleeping. You do not need to be witnessed driving to receive a DUI in Huntsville, Madison, or surrounding areas in North Alabama. If you are going to sleep in your vehicle, take the keys out of the ignition, turn off all the lights and move into the passenger or rear seat. This way no reasonable person would deem you to be in control of the vehicle and you will be fine to drive again once you have sobered up.
Minimize Your Chances of Being Pulled Over
Be mindful of the rules of any road you drive on as any minor infraction can result in you being legally stopped for a roadside check, potentially subjecting you to a DUI charge. Also make sure your vehicle is in good repair: turn signals and brake lights work and your windows, if tinted, are within the legal limit. As you drive, signal all your turns, don’t use your high beams and don’t weave, change speeds or make improper lane changes. You can be pulled over for a routine traffic stop and end up being arrested for DUI if the officer suspects you’re under the influence.
Be Prepared To Offer Your License & Registration
Have all your paperwork in a readily accessible place in case you get stopped so that you will draw as little attention to yourself as possible. If you get stopped and you are unorganized or appear to be in a bewildered state, an officer’s suspicion may be triggered, which could result in a sobriety test to ensure you are not driving under the influence.
Always Be Courteous To Police Officers
Mouthing off to police is a quick way to get yourself into a pile of trouble. If an officer stops you, remain calm and be polite. Answer questions and be cooperative as you’ll have a better chance of coming out of the situation without penalty.
Field Sobriety Testing
In the state of Alabama, field sobriety tests are voluntary, meaning that you may refuse to take part. The decision is up to the individual as to whether to take the test or not. It is a good idea to fully understand what the test involves, how they are judged, and why they are given in order to make an informed decision regarding DUI testing. As a motorist you are entitled to decline a test and excuses such as road surface, weather conditions or a physical impairment can be used as plausible reasons for denial. Be prepared to have the officer view your decision as admission of guilt and proceed accordingly. This matter can then be sorted out in court where legal council can properly represent you.
Blood Alcohol Testing: Know Your Rights
If you are arrested for DUI in the State of Alabama, you may be subjected to a blood alcohol test to determine your level of intoxication. In North Alabama, there are three BAC testing methods: breath, blood, and urine. The most common roadside test is the breath test, also known as a ‘breathalyzer’. Before a BAC test is administered, the roadside officer giving the test will inform the driver that his or her license will be suspended for 90 days for refusing to take the test. What they won’t tell you is that your license will be suspended for the same 90 days anyways if your results are over the legal BAC limit. You will also have simultaneously provided incriminating evidence against you. What the motorist should do is ask for an independent BAC test to be administered. An independent test must be provided after the police commissioned test has been performed. If you are not allowed to seek an independent BAC test then your Huntsville DUI lawyer may be able to suppress the police ordered BAC test.
Do Not Plead Guilty
If you happen to be arrested on a DUI charge, do not plead guilty. Instead hire a DUI Lawyer in Huntsville who has experience defending the rights of motorists charged with DUI infractions in Huntsville, Athens, Decatur, Madison, Scottsboro, and surrounding North Alabama areas. An experienced DUI lawyer will know how to interpret the circumstances around your case and what options you have regarding DUI in various Huntsville and North Alabama courts. Schedule a free case evaluation today by contacting our Huntsville or Athens office – or by completing an online case evaluation.
If you or a loved one are accused of DUI/DWI in Huntsville or North Alabama – contact our DUI attorneys to schedule a FREE consultation. We have 100+ years’ combined experience defending DUI related charges in courtrooms throughout Alabama. Free phone and office consultations are available at our Huntsville or Athens, AL office location – schedule yours today by calling (256) 539-4464 or completing a contact form online.