St. Patrick’s Day may have come and gone, but there are plenty of other holidays right around the corner that involve celebrations with family and friends. Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and the 4th of July are days that see heavy OWI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) enforcement by police. With some forethought and careful planning, you can hopefully avoid a drunk driving charge and the consequences that come with it.
DUI defense attorney Maurice Davis represents people who get charged with DUI in Detroit on a holiday. If you’re facing criminal charges, he will fight for you to get a fair result. Call Davis Law Group at (313) 818-3238, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation of your case.
Understand the Law
The BAC (blood alcohol content) limit for drunk driving in Michigan is .08 percent. Unlike most other states, however, there are two separate crimes that you can face charges for:
- OWI/DUI (driving under the influence) – You can be charged with this offense when you have a BAC of .08 percent or higher, or when you operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs – regardless of if you’re over the legal limit.
- OWVI (operating while visibly impaired) – You might find yourself facing OWVI charges when you’re behind the wheel of a car (or another vehicle) and visibly intoxicated. No BAC testing is required.
Don’t Drink and Drive
The best way to avoid a DUI in Detroit on a holiday is to avoid drinking and driving at all. We understand, however, that sometimes you didn’t plan to drive and need to get somewhere. If you find yourself needing to go somewhere and are worried about whether it is legal for you to drive, keep in mind that you have options:
- Ask someone who hasn’t been drinking to give you a ride
- Use public transportation
- Call a taxi, or use Uber or Lyft
Taxis and ridesharing services are typically out in full force on holidays because they know that people who have been drinking will need a ride home. Keep some cash on hand, or bring your credit card when heading out to a celebration.
Don’t Drink on an Empty Stomach
Alcohol is absorbed into your system at different rates depending on several factors. Drinking on an empty stomach is one of the quickest ways to increase your BAC. As a result, less alcohol can increase your BAC when you haven’t eaten in a while. Eating something before you drink, and while you are drinking can help keep your BAC within the legal limit.
Know When and Where Police Are Operating DUI Checkpoints
Sometimes you can find out where and when the police are operating DUI checkpoints. Knowing where they are so that you can avoid them can help you avoid a drunk driving charge. However, if you encounter a DUI checkpoint unexpectedly, familiarize yourself with what to do.
Leave the Party Early
As the night progresses, the police are likely to ramp up enforcement efforts and be increasingly vigilant for drivers who are under the influence. These efforts are likely to be at their peak as bars and other establishments close. By leaving a few hours early, you likely reduce your chances of getting pulled over.
Drive Carefully and Keep Your Car in Good Repair
To pull you over, a police officer needs probable cause. This is a legal basis to make a traffic stop. It could be for something minor – like failing to use your turn signal, speeding, or having a broken tail light.
As noted above, you can be charged with OWVI even if you are under the legal limit. If you get pulled over, panicking will work against you. Shaking, being unable to follow directions, or becoming defensive could be considered signs of being visibly intoxicated and lead to a DUI charge.
Contact Davis Law Group for Help
A drunk driving conviction carries harsh consequences. You could be facing jail time, heavy fines, and revocation of your driver’s license. In addition, your conviction will be public record, resulting in embarrassment among your family and friends, not to mention the fact that it could even make it difficult to find a job. If you’re facing charges for a related offense, contact Davis Law Group right away.