Knowledge Is Power: Protect Yourself Against A Drunk Driving Charge

Almost anybody can end up with a drunk driving charge. All it takes is one beer too many at a ball game or one drink too many at dinner. Even a small amount of alcohol in your system can end up being used to justify an arrest.

At The Maddox Law Firm, we believe that people should know how to protect themselves against the consequences of a frivolous drunk driving charge.

If You Are Stopped For A Traffic Violation

Many traffic stops become “fishing expeditions” for drunk drivers — especially if a driver happens to be out in the evening near the bars or near restaurants where alcohol is served. To protect yourself from charges, take the following steps:

  1. Consider every traffic stop a precursor to a drunk driving charge.

    That’s the only way to adequately prepare for what might happen if the officer who stops you is overzealous about the law. Remember, you can be convicted based solely on the officer’s claim that you were acting impaired and driving irresponsibly, even if your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit.

  2. Admit to nothing.

    Any admission you make can be used against you. For example, saying something like, “I only had one beer with dinner,” gives the officer probable cause to conduct a breathalyzer exam or claim that you were driving erratically. Instead, ask the officer, “Would you like my driver’s license and insurance?” If the officer persists, politely decline to answer.

  3. Decline to participate in field sobriety testing.

    These roadside tests commonly include a one-legged stand test, a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and a walk-and-turn test. You are not legally required to take these tests — and they are almost impossible to pass even under normal conditions. The only purpose they serve is to justify an officer’s decision to subject you to a breathalyzer exam.

    While you may feel uncomfortable acting this way, remember that it is your future and your freedom that is on the line.

Give Yourself A Fighting Chance

If you are charged with drunk driving anyhow, following the steps above will give you the best possible start on a solid defense. You will have given the prosecution very little to use against you — which is a great start toward winning your case.

I am attorney Matthew Maddox, and I represent defendants against DUI charges in McKinney and the surrounding Texas communities. To talk to a defense lawyer who cares about your case, call 972-373-3635 today. I can also be reached online.