Monday, December 26, 2011

DUI - don't want one? Top ten things NOT to do!

This holiday weekend, I found a WGN news story simply inspiring:

DUI suspect crashes car outside police station

The headline almost says it all - the car actually crashed into the wall of the police station itself.

People ask me all the time how to avoid being arrested for DUI.  Other than the obvious "if you feel it at all, don't drive," really, here are a few simple rules:

Seriously though, no matter how much alcohol you've had, if an officer smells it, they're in a political trick bag and may feel compelled to arrest you no matter what. There are some basic guidelines that apply to most motorists when being investigated for DUI in Illinois and they're really fairly easy to follow:

  • Don't answer any questions if the answer can't be found printed on your driver's license, insurance or registration;
    • Practice - "I respectfully refuse to answer any questions". Repeat.
  • Do produce those documents if requested;
    • If possible, it's a good plan to have those documents readily accessible so that you're not fumbling for them in a dark car at 1am while a not so happy police officer is waiting in Chicago's January frozen tundra;
  • If asked to exit the vehicle, advise the officer you will do so only if he or she is ordering you to exit the vehicle, and that you'll consider it an arrest;
    • If the officer tells you that you must exit and you refuse, you may be facing additional criminal charges as well as a visit to the hospital for TASER burns.
  • If requested to submit to any roadside tests, politely refuse;
    • Because your lawyer told you so. 
    • This includes the eye test ("just follow my finger"), the portable breath test and any other "just do this for me" test the officer can think of on the spot. 
  • The officer may arrest you anyway. You can and in most cases, should, refuse to submit to any chemical testing requested.
    • If you've had absolutely nothing to drink for 24 hours, go ahead and submit, preferably to blood testing if possible.
    • If you've used cannabis (marijuana, reefer, ganja, wacky weed, get it?) within 32 days, or even have been exposed to second hand smoke, refuse urine or blood testing. 
    • If you've used any other illegal drug within the last month, refuse blood or using testing.
    • If you've used any LEGAL prescription, even if not within 24 hours, espescially if you've consumed ANY amount of alcohol, refuse all testing and do not volunteer that you have consumed medication - it will not make things better.
    • If you're under 21 or are operating a commercial vehicle or a school bus, you shouldn't be drinking, should you? These rules apply to you too!

Finally, if arrested for DUI in Chicago or throughout Cook, Lake or DuPage counties, call us for a free consultation at (847) 635-8200. We're right where we've been for over 30 years, serving clients just like you.

Drive safe , happy holidays and a happy new year from all of us at Fagan, Fagan & Davis!

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