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Drivers are human, and even some of the smartest ones have been slapped with a DUI.
But as some notable drunken-driving defendants have shown us, there are also many incredibly dumb mistakes that can lead to a DUI -- and many more dumb mistakes you can make when getting pulled over.
Here are 10 not-so-smart DUI mistakes you'll want to avoid:
- Taking a Xanax (or other prescription drugs) and driving. Just because a doctor prescribed them doesn't mean you have a magic DUI shield. Whether it's "mommy's little helpers" or even cough syrup, medicines that impair you from driving can also get you charged with a DUI.
- Being a rebel with an Internet law degree. If you think that reading some forum or watching some YouTube video has made you a legal scholar on DUI, think again.
- Refusing to comply at a DUI checkpoint. Most states have implemented some form of DUI checkpoints, and the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed they are legal if properly conducted. Yes, the nation's highest court is way smarter than that one guy at your work.
- Joking with officers. We're certain you're a real Jerry Lewis around the office, but police officers do not respond positively to jokes.
- Mouthing off to officers. Telling officers that you're "an American citizen" and refusing to cooperate will only get you in more trouble. Just ask one particular "Legally Blonde" actress whose DUI arrest video went viral.
- Telling the officer you're drunk. You can always refuse to answer police questions, so you do not have to offer freely that you are drunk -- unless the spirits so move you.
- Making sudden movements. Officers can search your car if they see furtive or aggressive movements that might suggest reaching for weapons, so just try to sit tight.
- Driving with open containers of alcohol. An open container -- even a bottle in the back seat -- is illegal in almost every state and may give officers reason to give you a field sobriety test or breathalyzer.
- Trying to fight your DUI based on a spelling error. Think you have a case because the officer spelled your name wrong on your DUI summons or citation? BZZZZ! Wrong-o! There are ways to beat a DUI on a technicality, but spelling errors or other minor omissions aren't among them.
- Choosing a subpar DUI attorney. Your choice in DUI attorney could mean the difference between a DUI diversion program and jail, so don't be sloppy in hiring one. You want an attorney that has experience with your type of DUI, in your area, and who is committed to your case.
If you need an experienced DUI attorney, don't be dumb. Get the smart advice you need by consulting with one today.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.