Even the most sober, law-abiding driver feels a twinge of panic when he or she sees a police cruiser’s lights flashing in the rear view mirror. However, someone who recently had a beer at a local bar or a drink while watching the big game will feel especially vulnerable in this situation. There are some basic steps a driver can take to avoid being pulled over in the first place.
The best and safest step is to not drink before driving, this cannot be stressed enough. A difficult situation can be avoided by using a designated driver, taxi cab or public transit. Exercising safe driving practices is part of what December is about, as National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month brings awareness to drinking and driving during the holiday season.
While we strongly urge everyone to avoid driving with any blood-alcohol content, read on to learn how to drive as safely as possible in a situation where you are legal to drive but have had a glass of wine or a beer with dinner and want to avoid a stressful police encounter:
- Ensure that you are safe to drive – adults in Florida may legally drive after consuming alcohol if they can safely operate a motor vehicle and have a blood-alcohol level below .08. If you feel you intoxicated or believe you may be anywhere near the legal limit, grab a glass of water and wait – time is the only thing that can sober you up.
- Plan your route – make sure you know where you are going before you turn on the car. Sudden, quick turns or turning without signaling will get you pulled over. Know your destination and path ahead of time.
- Turn your lights on – if you are driving at night with your lights off, the police will pull you over immediately. Many police officers state that this is the most common reason for pulling vehicles over on suspicion ofDUI. Forgetting to turn on your lights tells the officer that you are likely drunk before he or she even speaks to you.
- Eliminate distractions – the radio, passengers and cell phones provide unnecessary distractions to all drivers. Focus on the task at hand to avoid driving mistakes.
Once again, please avoid drinking and driving. This is always the safest way to go. The above suggestions will not protect you from a DUI if you are driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol concentration.
Look soon for our post on what you should do when you have been pulled over on suspicion of DUI.