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Featured   12.21.2020

What Are 9 Tips to Best Avoid a Holiday DWI?

If You Don’t Drive Sober, You Could Get Pulled Over

The holiday season is here, meaning DWI charges will likely increase. 285 DWI-related deaths occurred during Christmas and New Year’s in 2018, all of which were preventable. This explains why police officers are extremely vigilant for intoxicated drivers during the holiday seasons. Parties, gatherings, and other holiday festivities often involve alcohol and if you don’t make good decisions about going home safely, you may end up behind bars, be subject to steep fines, and lose your driver’s license.

Law enforcement agencies are aware of this and send out more police patrols to keep up with the increased DWI rates, therefore you must prepare accordingly. As such, our Baton Rouge DWI attorneys compiled a list of 9 tips for you to keep in mind during the holidays to better avoid a DWI charge, which you can read below. If you have any questions, please contact us at (225) 414-5954!

  1. Don’t drive after consuming drugs or alcohol.
  2. Do not get behind the wheel even if you had one drink.
  3. Designate a sober driver before going out.
  4. Before you go out, download a rideshare app (like Uber or Lyft) and make sure your payment information is current.
    1. Companies like AAA may offer free rides during the holiday
  5. Proactively, Book a hotel or make a plan to stay overnight at a friend’s house.
  6. Be aware of DUI checkpoints.
  7. Check your prescription medication label before adding alcohol to confirm there won’t be any side effects.
  8. Do not “sleep it off” in your car. (your vehicle’s engine running or listening to the radio may still be considered “operating” under LA’s DWI law)
  9. Drive defensively.

Signs of DWI

With the above advice in mind, it will benefit you to understand the signs of intoxication that police officers are trained to identify in the “Vehicle in Motion” phase of DWI Detection. These are driving behaviors that officers are trained are most common in impaired or intoxicated drivers. This is why you should always drive cautiously and obey all traffic laws. If not, an officer may believe you are intoxicated before even speaking with you. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducts several studies on this matter and devised a DWI Detection Guide that outlines several signs of intoxication that you should keep in mind. They are organized into four categories as follows:

Problems Maintaining Proper Lane Position

  • Weaving
  • Weaving across lane lines
  • Straddling a lane line
  • Swerving
  • Turning with a wide radius
  • Drifting
  • Almost striking a vehicle or other object

Speed and Braking Problems

  • Stopping problems (too far, too short, or too jerky)
  • Accelerating or decelerating for no apparent reason
  • Varying speed
  • Slow speed (10+ mph under the limit)

Vigilance Problems

  • Driving in opposing lanes or wrong way on one-way
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Slow or failure to respond to the officer’s signals
  • Stopping in a lane for no apparent reason
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action

Judgment Problems

  • Following too closely
  • Improper or unsafe lane change
  • Illegal or improper turn (too fast, jerky, sharp, etc.)
  • Driving on other than the designated roadway
  • Stopping inappropriately in response to the officer

Facing DWI Charges in Baton Rouge?

Unfortunately, you may be arrested for a DWI this holiday season even if you don’t believe you were intoxicated. You should always consult an experienced lawyer before proceeding with your DWI case, as every action counts. Thus, we encourage you to contact our firm at (225) 953-8330 to learn how we can serve you!

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