Every holiday is cause for a celebration. In addition, it is cause for larger numbers of police officers to be carefully on the lookout for illegal behavior. During any festivities with alcohol, people’s inhibitions lower and they can act out of character. This can lead to unpleasant run-ins with the law, especially considering the fact that police officers tend to be on the lookout for illegal behavior on holidays such as New Year’s Eve, the 4th of July, and Saint Patrick’s Day.
Saint Patrick’s Day is a great religious and cultural celebration for the Irish. Of course, due in part to the amount of Irish Americans in America, we have adopted this holiday as our own, and use it as an excuse to eat corned beef and cabbage and wear green. Many people also use this holiday as an excuse to have a big party and drink a lot of alcohol. To make sure that you stay safe and out of trouble this Saint Patrick’s Day, follow these tips.
- Designate a sober driver. Never try to drive if you drank alcohol, and don’t get in a car if you think that the driver cannot safely drive. Even just a few beers can give you a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08. If you get stopped by the police and tested, this BAC level means a DUI charge.
- Don’t leave it to chance. Make sure you have a plan of how you will get to the bar or your friend’s house, and make a plan for how to get home. Whether this means having a designated driver or calling a taxi, you want to make this plan before you go out. The last thing you want is to be stuck at a bar with no safe way home.
- If you’re at a friend’s house, consider staying over. If you end up drinking more than you planned to, ask you friend if you can spend the night. A true friend will look out for your safety and allow you to stay, even if it is an inconvenience.
- Do not leave your drink unattended.
- Make sure that you have proper identification if you’re trying to get into a bar. Many bars will have security and police officers loitering around. If there is a disturbance because you are being kicked out of the bar, it will draw unwanted attention from the police.
- Never use or carry illegal drugs.
- Do not carry illegal weapons on you. If you do not have a pistol permit, do not carry a gun with you.
- Do not leave open containers of alcohol in your car. If you are under the age of 21, do not carry any alcohol in your car, just to be safe.
- Do not use a fake ID to try to get into a bar or club.
While being charged with a DUI can be embarrassing, you will get through this experience – especially if you are proactive and follow the tips provided here.
Assess the Specifics of Your Case
While your arrest is still fresh in your mind, try to remember and write down everything that happened. What did you have to drink that night? How long were you drinking for? What did you eat that night? Were you under some type of emotional stress or trauma when you began driving? This information, in the hands of a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney, could provide a defense for your case.
Did the Police Follow the Law?
Despite their training, the police do not always do things correctly. During holidays such as Saint Patrick’s Day, sobriety checkpoints might be set up. If you were arrested as a result of the checkpoint, ask yourself if you had ample warning of this checkpoint and the ability to go around it or turn around so as not to go through it. These factors could affect your case. In addition, consider how field sobriety tests or chemical tests were performed. Many times, officers do not perform these tests correctly, which can affect the accuracy of the tests. These tests could ultimately be thrown out of court and not used as evidence if this is the case.
Establish Your Character
The prosecution and the judge want to know if you are going to be a repeat offender. This will affect the consequences imposed on your case. In order to prove that this was a one time, holiday-induced event, you need to prove your character. Show your ties to the community, your hardworking nature, proof of your job and education, and have those who know you write character references for you. This can help your case.
Contact Someone Who Knows What to Do
As you can see, the particulars of your situation might not seem significant to you, but to a trained DUI defense lawyer, they can be the key to a solid defense. Consulting a DUI defense lawyer can help you build the best defense possible, and take these random facts and put them together to create a cohesive, solid defense.
St. Patrick’s Day can lead to great times but also reckless actions. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you need help building your defense and proving to the state that this was a one-time mistake that will not happen again. In order to prove this, you should consider hiring a DUI defense lawyer.