After a challenging couple of years, holiday parties this season can feel like a welcome relief—the chance to celebrate with friends, relax and enjoy time together again. But law enforcement officers also know that the holidays bring an increase in alcohol-related crashes, and they step up their DUI patrols accordingly.
Being stopped or arrested for driving under the influence can be devastating any time of year, but during the holidays, it’s particularly challenging. You may feel like you’ve ruined the holidays for your loved ones, or worry that it will be impossible to make progress on your case during such a busy time of year. But don’t let your own holiday schedule or commitments stop you from immediately getting to work on fighting your DUI charge.
What to do after a DUI stop during the holidays
If you’re stopped during the holidays and you’ve been drinking, do your best to calmly follow the officer’s instructions and answer questions truthfully or decline to answer them. Do not admit to having had a drink; instead, decline to answer questions about your alcohol consumption. You have a right to refuse breath testing or a field sobriety test, though you may be arrested and asked to provide blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance testing. Refusing testing entirely will likely still result in a DUI less-safe charge and, potentially, an automatic license suspension.
If your license is suspended by the officer after your arrest, you have 30 days to seek an appeal. While the holidays are busy for everyone, don’t delay in contacting a DUI defense attorney for help getting your license back.
Challenging a DUI charge: checkpoints and other stops
Often, people who have been charged with a DUI assume it’s an open and shut case, with no possibility of having the charge reduced or dismissed. But it’s possible to avoid the negative consequences of a DUI conviction with the help of a DUI defense attorney.
Holiday DUIs are regularly the result of police checkpoint stops. While these checkpoints allow law enforcement to quickly scan drivers for signs of driving under the influence, they have to be set up and managed perfectly in order to be legal.
For example, the officers must establish the checkpoint for a reason—like reviewing everyone’s license and registration. They also must be fair, stopping everyone who passes through, not just younger drivers, for example, or those who look like they’ve been at a holiday party. A checkpoint can’t move from location to location.
An attorney can challenge the legality of the checkpoint if it wasn’t set up properly, giving you the chance to have the charges thrown out. Remember, if you come across a checkpoint, proceed calmly. Do not try to leave or make a U-turn.
A DUI defense lawyer can also look for improper actions in a regular DUI stop as well. In some cases, you may have your case dismissed or see the charges reduced to reckless driving.
Take the First Four Steps to Protecting Your Future
We understand that holidays are a busy time for everyone, but we also know that clients can’t delay in getting to work on their DUI cases. In our process, we encourage you to take the First Four Steps to Protecting Your Future:
- Contact us to schedule a time to discuss your situation.
- Get clarity on your options by meeting with us.
- Pick the defense option you want.
- Execute the plan together.
Call an attorney today for a consultation
After a DUI arrest, it’s important to get started with a DUI arrest lawyer right away—even if it’s the busiest time of the year. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, call 770-720-6336 for a Defense Strategy Meeting.