How to avoid a charge of Operating Under the Influence

You’re not drunk, so there’s nothing to worry about, right?

You don’t have to be drunk to be arrested and convicted of drunk driving.  You don’t even have to believe you’re impaired. If you are on antidepressants, allergy meds, or even decongestants, you could be found guilty of OUI / DUI.

Obviously, the best way to avoid an OUI charge is to not get behind the wheel if you have ingested anything that could possibly affect your mental or physical abilities, such as alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and medical marijuana. Ask your pharmacist if you should be concerned that your drug may cause impairment.

Along with exercising your best efforts to avoid driving while impaired, you should avoid being pulled over by the police in the first place.

Statistically speaking, you’re much more likely to be stopped by police late at night, and if the police stop you late at night, the officer is likely to presume that you are driving while impaired. The police need a reason to pull you over, but once they do, they don’t need much of a reason to investigate further.

While you may not believe you’re impaired at all, once you’re stopped, it’s almost completely at the discretion of the police officer whether you will end up with an OUI charge.

What you can do to avoid being stopped:

1.  Keep your vehicle in good condition. Routinely check all lights – headlights, taillights, license plate lights. Don’t have overly tinted windows. Fix your broken windshield.|

2.  Stay current with your registration and inspection stickers.

3.  Follow the rules of the road. Diligently obey speed limits – too fast or too slow can be a reason to stop you. Avoid unnecessary lane changes. Come to full stops at intersections. Follow at a safe distance. Be aware of everything around you.

4.  Wear your seatbelt.  Stay off the phone.

5.  Avoid routes that take you by bars and late-night restaurants.

If a police officer pulls you over, and the officer thinks there’s any indication that you may be impaired, you will probably be arrested. Stay tuned to for what to do in the event you are pulled over by police….