Six Tips for Avoiding a DUI in Colorado this Fourth of July
With the the Fourth July, and its associated picnics, parties, camping trips, and general celebrating just around the corner, its a good time to review how to prevent getting a DUIs. Here are six tips to prevent getting a DUI in Colorado this holiday season.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Call a taxi, take the bus, or have a friend drive you home. This is the only 100% effective way to avoid getting a DUI. Even if you’ve have only had one or two drinks, you’re still taking a risk.
Drive Safely and Carefully
The majority of DUI arrests made in Boulder and other locations in Colorado happen to people who are pulled over for other traffic violations such as speeding. Concentrate on your driving and avoid distractions, and explicitly obey the speed limit and other traffic rules. On holidays like the Fourth of July, or any day after about 9:00 PM, police in Colorado are looking for any excuse they can find to pull you over, which means that you should make sure that you’re wearing your seat belt, that your headlights are turned on, that you’re using your signals, and that you’re stopping at every stop sign. Don’t turn on or adjust the stereo system, and don’t have anything to do with your cell phone while driving. Talking or texting while driving are dangerous and lead to lots of traffic accidents and violations, and a Boulder police officer who sees you doing either while driving has a ready-made excuse to pull you over, and arrest you for suspicion of DUI.
Drive Straight Home
Unnecessary stops and side trips increase your time on the road and increase the probability that you will be pulled over, and stopping for food or other items increases the likelihood of being noticed by a restaurant or convenience store employee, who may be trained or encouraged to report you to the police. Stopping for fast food is particularly dangerous. Many late night drive-through workers at Colorado fast food restaurants are trained to recognize drivers who smell like alcohol, report them to the police, and find ways to keep them in the parking lot while the police are on the way. If the drive-through operator makes you wait longer than usual at the window, or instructs you pull into a parking space to wait for your food, there’s a good chance that the police are on their way.
Don’t Help a Police Officer Build a DUI Case Against You
From the moment a police officer decides to pull you over, he or she is collecting evidence to convict you of DUI. Even if they try to be nice to you, resist the urge to “explain” yourself or answer questions. An officer will try to discover what time and how much you’ve been drinking to determine whether they should take an official blood alcohol test immediately, or wait until you’ve fully absorbed the alcohol into your system. Either way, they’re trying to get you to give the highest blood alcohol test possible, and they’re doing everything they can to get you convicted of DUI. You have the right to remain silent and to decline taking field sobriety tests, including the breathalyzer test (despite the fact that the cop who pulls you over won’t tell you this). You are required to give the police officer your license, registration, and insurance information, but politely refuse to answer any other questions or do anything voluntarily.
Take the Blood Test
In Colorado, you have the right to decide whether you want to take a breath or a blood test to determine your blood-alcohol level. Take the blood test. When you take a breath test, a police officer will know immediately what your blood-alcohol level is, and may embellish his report about your driving and behavior to consistent with your reading. If you take a blood test, the results will not be available immediately, and the officer more likely to give a more even-handed, fairer report. Additionally, your blood sample will be saved and can be re-tested by an independent laboratory, or checked for contamination at a later date, while breath cannot be saved, which means the sample that was used to determine your blood-alcohol level cannot be challenged.
Consult an Experienced Colorado DUI Attorney
Don’t wait until it’s too late to contact an attorney, or assume that the system will treat you fairly without a lawyer. DUI cases can be complex and time-sensitive, lead to extremely large fines, probation, and jail time, and arresting officers frequently cut corners or otherwise take advantage of people in DUI cases in order to get arrests and convictions. Know your rights, and contact a Boulder DUI lawyer can help sort through the issues, hold cops who cut corners accountable, and get you the best deal possible.