Our Birmingham DUI lawyers know that smart people sometimes make bad decisions.
Unfortunately, for those who end up getting a Birmingham DUI as a result, the consequences of that bad decision can be long-lasting. It can affect your wallet, your employment, your home life – and even your freedom.
Of course, there are ways that a skilled Birmingham DUI lawyer can take almost any scenario and build a solid defense. Hiring the right attorney is important in these cases.
However, the best way to avoid a DUI under Alabama Code §32-5A-191 is to avoid drinking before you get behind the wheel. That one is obvious. However, here are some other things you may want to keep in mind that in the end will aid your DUI defense attorney or possibly help you avoid arrest altogether.
The first is to know your limit. Alabama is not a state that mandates zero tolerance. That is, you can still consume an alcoholic drink and get behind the wheel. What you can’t do is have more than a 0.08 blood alcohol level (unless you’re under the age of 21, in which case it’s lower). Now, there are a host of factors that this depends on, including your height and weight, the strength of the alcohol you’re consuming, how long you’ve been drinking and your individual metabolism. So it’s not an actual science. There are calculators online (if you Google them) where you can punch in the numbers and figure your approximate blood alcohol content, based on your weight, how much you’ve had to drink and how long you’ve been drinking.
Generally speaking, however, if you are a woman weighing about 140 pounds, you’re driving is likely to be impaired sometime between drink number two and three. If you are a man weighing about 180 pounds, you will probably be considered impaired sometime between drink three and four.
This is not to say that this is the exact amount you can drink before getting behind the wheel – every person is different. But it’s good to educate yourself about your limit before you indulge.
Next, make sure your vehicle is in good working condition. Most often, DUI traffic stops happen when police pull you over for some other infraction, such as a headlight that is out or illegal tinting on your windows.
If you are stopped, treat the officers with respect and courtesy. Even if you have been drinking, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be arrested. However, you increase your chances of an arrest if you are rude or hostile to the officer.
Also, have all your information readily available to hand to the officer. This includes your insurance, your license and your vehicle registration. In many cases, this will make the stop go much more smoothly for you.
Understand, too, that just because you haven’t consumed alcohol, you may still be arrested for driving under the influence if you have consumed any prescription medications or illegal drugs. These cases can be more difficult for police to prove, but it’s important for you to educate yourself, particularly if you are taking a prescribed drug which may impact your ability to safely drive.