WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE STOPPED BY THE POLICE DURING THE HOLIDAYS
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, AND BE RESPECTFUL
This time of year, everyone seems to be dusting off old family traditions as they prepare for the merriment on the horizon. At some point this month, you’ll probably dress up for an ugly-sweater party, exchange white-elephant presents, and watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on TV at least five times. Unfortunately, alongside these joyous holiday customs, there is a darker side of the season: a major increase in DUI citations. In the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, there is a dramatic increase in drunk-driving offenses and other alcohol-related issues. In fact, the statistics are sobering.
Because people are traveling to see their families, more drivers are on the road. And since 16 percent of adults admit that they drink more than usual during the holidays, the plausibility of receiving a DUI is exponentially higher. Using ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft are always cheaper than getting a DUI, and we highly recommend them. Many people call Frye Law Group to inquire about what they should do if they are stopped by the police after they’ve had something to drink. One piece of information that our attorney Kim would like you to keep in mind is that when the police pull you over, they are doing so to investigate a crime — regardless of whether it’s a routine traffic violation or a DUI. If they ask you to take part in any field sobriety evaluations by having you walk a straight line, lift up your leg, check your eyes, or blow in a Alco-Sensor, you need to remember that your participation is completely voluntary. You don’t have to do a sobriety test if you don’t want to. Respectfully but firmly tell the officer, “No, thank you, I’d rather not.” You can also ask if you are under arrest or free to leave.
The exact same rights apply if you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint. Not many people are aware that DUI checkpoints are considered legal in the state of Georgia, and during the holiday season, you’ll likely see more of them. Remember that you still don’t have to participate in a field sobriety test. You are only required to produce your driver’s license and proof of insurance if asked at these checkpoints. If you have any other questions about what to do if you are pulled over by the police, or need a DUI Defense Attorney, don’t hesitate to give our office at call at 770-919-9525.