A drunk driving charge is one of the scariest things you can experience. A conviction can wreck your finances, destroy your reputation and damage your professional standing.
Naturally, the number one way to avoid a drunk driving charge is to scrupulously avoid drinking when you have to drive — even socially. That means not stopping for a beer on your way home, not having a glass of wine when you’re out for dinner and not drinking at any parties unless you have a ride home.
Short of that, you can take the following steps:
1. Reduce the chances that your car will be stopped
A routine traffic stop can easily lead to a drunk driving charge if the officer happens to smell alcohol on your breath. However, you can’t be stopped unless the officer has a reason. To lessen the likelihood that you’ll encounter the police on your way home, you should make sure your car is always in good repair. All it takes is a broken light, a faulty blinker or an expired tag to give the police an excuse to pull you over.
2. Don’t give the police any reasonable suspicion that you’ve been drinking
What does “reasonable suspicion” of drunk driving look like to a police officer? It can include just about any traffic violation that indicates you might be impaired, including:
- Crossing the yellow line
- Stopping too long at a light or stop sign
- Making illegal turns
- Drifting in and out of your lane
- Driving too slowly
- Braking too often
- Taking turns too wide
Obey all the traffic laws on your way home and stay focused on driving. Distracted driving often looks a lot like drunk driving.
Ultimately, if you do find yourself facing a drunk driving charge, take immediate steps to protect your rights and your future.