For many, this time of the year is the time to create unforgettable memories and traditions or reminisce of old times past. It is a time to eat turkey, watch football, and spend quality time with the ones you love. Friends and family begin gathering together to give thanks for the blessings in their lives and celebrate the new holiday season. However, it is also the time of the year that marks the beginning of “DUI Season.” With more traveling and more parties to attend, the rise in DUI arrests spikes between Thanksgiving Eve until the New Year.
“Black Wednesday” aka Thanksgiving Eve known throughout the US to unofficially be the busiest bar night of the year, also has become the biggest night of drunk driving. More people tend to travel by car Thanksgiving weekend for a quick getaway to visit family and/or friends. With the combination of increased traveling and the busiest bar night of the year, it’s imperative people be more cautious driving on the roads or even walking near roads to avoid a deadly situation.
Law enforcement officers are well aware of what time of the year it is and are out in large numbers – watching and waiting for the littlest error in driving. Here are a 5 tips to consider this coming Thanksgiving weekend to avoid a Thanksgiving DUI:
1. Do NOT drink and drive. If you are unsure if you should get behind the wheel, chances are you shouldn’t. Call a taxi. The cost of a taxi is a lot cheaper than a cost of a DUI. It’s also good to remember that you don’t have to be “drunk” to be a arrested. Even being “impaired” could equal a night in jail.
2. Do NOT fall asleep in your car. You can still get a DUI in Illinois if you’re in the backseat.
3. Do pull over to the side of the road if you see law enforcement pulling you over, but do NOT start rambling on about your night. Police officers aren’t trying to make conversation with you. They will be interrogating you and possibly using everything you say against you. If they ask where you are coming from, they are trying to gain incriminating information, whether you were at a family event or were at a bar. Always politely decline answering and ask if you are under investigation. If you are under investigation, then you have every right to decline answering any questions without a lawyer present.
4. If you happen to be involved in an accident, exit your vehicle as quickly as possible, stay outside your vehicle and stay on the scene. Avoid giving information of what happened whether it’s your fault or not. Do not admit to drinking or driving. All you need to do is provide proof of insurance, registration and your drivers license. You have the right to refuse to answer any questions without a lawyer present.
5. If the law enforcement officer reads you your rights then use them. Your rights aka Miranda warnings include some of the following:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have that lawyer present during any questioning.
- If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.
Use your rights. Do not answer questions that could and will be used against you. Get yourself a Chicago DUI lawyer.
If your holiday is spoiled by a Thanksgiving DUI, call The Law Office of Dennis F. Dwyer. We want you to enjoy your holiday season and a have a happy New Year. We will work hard to defend your case. We will begin the process of protecting every right you have throughout the process under the laws of Illinois. Every case is unique, but having an aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney will be more beneficial and gives you a greater chance of winning your case.