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Questions to Ask Your DUI Lawyer



Questions to Ask Your DUI Lawyer

The prospect of facing a DUI charge is intimidating, and it can even be downright scary. You need a DUI lawyer on your side to fight that charge.

The success of your defense could be significantly impacted by who you decide to hire as your lawyer. Settle for someone without the requisite level of skill and experience, and you could soon be on the way to jail. Even if the facts of the case are in your favor, a slam dunk defense could turn into a dicey affair because you hired the wrong lawyer.

So, how can you ensure that you hire the right lawyer? It helps to ask the right questions.

In this article, we have highlighted the questions you must ask the DUI lawyer you are thinking of hiring. Gauge their responses carefully and see if you are comfortable with them representing you.

Determining Who Your Lawyer Will Be

When you get in touch with a law firm and seek their assistance, you will likely talk to different people there. During your conversations, you may start to develop strong impressions of the people at the firm and want a specific lawyer there to represent you in your case.

It is important to determine who your lawyer will be before you decide to partner with a specific firm. Asking the questions below should help you obtain the answer you need.

What Is Your Current Caseload?

If you want to ascertain a lawyer’s availability without directly asking, inquiring about their current caseload is a good way to go about it. Find out if they are currently juggling several cases.

Asking about your preferred lawyer’s current caseload helps you understand if they can take on your case. Doing so will also let you know how high you up are on their current list of priorities. You do not want to end up low on that totem pole and end up with your case potentially getting neglected.

Will You Be the Lawyer Handling My Case?

Perhaps you are not a fan of beating around the bush. In that case, you can be more direct and ask the lawyer you are speaking to directly if they will be the one to represent you.

Putting forth this question can also help you secure a commitment from the lawyer you want on your side. It is worth asking if you are up for it.

Will You Be the One to Show Up to Court with Me?

Also, ask if the lawyer you are speaking to will show up with you in court. You obviously do not want them pulling the bait and switch on you, so secure this commitment from them as well.

Learning More about the Experience Level of Your DUI Lawyer

You should take the time to know more about the legal professional who will potentially be your representative at the trial. Are they capable of playing good defense for you? The questions we have included below should you obtain your answer.

How Long Have You Been a DUI Lawyer?

Experience matters in DUI cases. You do not want to hand the reins to your case over to an inexperienced lawyer. Their inexperience could prove costly.

It is not only inexperience when it comes to handling cases that you should inquire about. Go ahead and ask about how long they have been a DUI lawyer as well.

DUI cases can be nuanced.

You do not want your lawyer missing something important because they have not handled a lot of DUI cases in the past. Even if they have many years of working as a legal professional under their belt, you still need them to have specific experience about your current predicament.

How Many DUI Cases Do You Handle Per Year?

Partnering with a lawyer who has plenty of experience when it comes to working DUI cases would be ideal. However, you need to ask about how recently they acquired that experience.

Being experienced is great, but it may not mean as much if they have not personally handled a case in years.

As much as possible, you should seek out a lawyer who has remained relatively active. Ask about how many cases they handle each year to get a read on that.

How Long Have You Been a Practicing DUI Lawyer in This Area?

Familiarity can give lawyers an edge in the courtroom. If they know how to handle matters in a certain place, they can operate more effectively.

You should ask how long your lawyer has been practicing in your neck of the woods. Gauge how well they know the area because that will undoubtedly matter in your case.

Go ahead and ask as well if they have dealt with the prosecutor in your area before. While you are at it, ask if they have any prior history with the judge for your case.

Their prior history can have insight into how your case may potentially go. Hopefully, what you learn will shine a favorable light on the potential outcome of your case. If you are not seeing that, it is not too late to go in a different direction.

Have You Worked as a Prosecutor Before?

It is not uncommon for some defense lawyers to start out as prosecutors. You should ask the attorney you are talking to if they have that previous working experience.

To be clear, hiring a DUI lawyer who has previous experience working as a prosecutor is a good thing.

First off, prosecutors-turned-defenders have a better grasp of how the other side may tackle your case. They can also predict which areas may serve as weak spots in the prosecution’s case.

Even if you will have a tough time being found not guilty, your defender’s prior experience working as a prosecutor can still come in handy. They can use their experience to strike better plea deals with the other side. They may even know the prosecutor in your case, and that could lead to you landing a more favorable deal.

Is My Case Similar to Anything You’ve Handled Before?

DUI cases are not typically known for including unusual elements, but that is still a possibility.

For example, you may be charged with aggravated DUI, but the conviction is hinging on some complex technicalities. You need to know that your lawyer can understand those complexities.

Ask your lawyer if they have handled something like your current case. You do not want them to react with surprise upon seeing your case file.

Have You Ever Been Disciplined by the State Bar?

There are certain red flags you need to look for before deciding if you should hire a particular lawyer. Something that warrants a closer look is the lawyer’s history as it pertains to the state bar.

Ask the lawyer you are speaking to if they have ever been disciplined by the state bar. While you are at it, ask if they have by other state bars.

Being disciplined does not automatically mean that a lawyer cannot defend you well. That may have just been a lapse in judgment. Since then, they may have demonstrated nothing but responsible behavior towards all their clients and cases.

All that said, you cannot ignore their disciplinary history. Try asking about what happened if they do have a disciplinary record. That should clue you in to whether the legal professional you are speaking to is someone you want as your lawyer.

Ascertaining Your DUI Lawyer’s Credentials

Every lawyer goes through a long and difficult journey to earn a degree as a legal professional. There is no denying the fact that they have earned their status.

However, you should still check to see if a particular lawyer is well suited to handle a DUI case. You can do that by checking on how they have kept up with their education. Asking the questions below should help.

Have You Talked to Police Officers about DUI Cases?

Lawyers can specialize in different areas if they want to.

According to LawyerEdu.org, certification areas in Arizona include bankruptcy law, criminal law, estate, and trust law, family law, personal injury and wrongful death, real estate law, tax law, and workers’ compensation law.

As you can see, DUI is not a specific area of specialization. Still, lawyers can gain supplemental knowledge and experience in that field by talking to other professionals.

Talking to police officers for additional knowledge and experience should prove helpful as a lawyer. Go ahead and ask if that is something they do regularly.

Are You Board Certified by the National College for DUI Defense?

Certain organizations offer certification to lawyers who undergo additional education to build upon their knowledge base. The National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) is the organization in charge of that when it comes to driving under the influence cases.

To receive certification from the NCDD, lawyers must pass written and oral examinations related to the field of DUI.

NCDD members benefit greatly from being certified. The organization gives them access to the latest resources related to driving under the influence cases. They can check out the latest scientific studies on alcohol, drugs, testing devices, testing accuracy, and other relevant matters.

Lawyers are also given additional training so they can wield specific trial techniques better. The organization also helps them find reputable experts who can prove immensely helpful during a trial.

It is easy to see how a DUI lawyer can benefit from being certified by the NCDD. You should ask your lawyer if they are a member of that organization.

Understanding Your DUI Lawyer’s Approach

There is no one way to handle a DUI case. Some lawyers may prefer a particular approach over the other available options.

It is important to understand what approach your lawyer employs. Once you know that, you can figure out if their preferred approach works for you.

How Often Do You Go to Trial?

Going to trial is not necessarily a good or a bad thing.

On one hand, heading to trial could clear your name completely. That gives you a chance to forget about the whole ordeal once the trial is over.

On the other hand, going through a trial can be a stressful ordeal. Some individuals may want to do whatever they can to avoid the courtroom.

You should find out what your lawyer’s attitude is as it pertains to trials. See if their approach aligns with your preferences before hiring them.

How Often Do You Go for Plea Deals or Dismissals?

Like with going to trial, seeking a plea deal or a dismissal in a case is not a good or bad thing either.

There are instances where seeking a plea deal could be the sensible move for your part. You do not want to partner with a lawyer who is opposed to negotiating a plea deal no matter the circumstances. The lawyer you hire should be open to any option if it puts you in the best situation legally.

Additional Questions to Ask Your DUI Lawyer

Let’s wrap things up by highlighting some other essential questions that you should ask any DUI lawyer offering their services to you.

Will I Have to Pay Additional Fees if We Go to Trial?

Some lawyers may advertise a certain fee but then charge something different depending on how your case progresses. To be more specific, they may charge you extra if your case heads to trial. They may also charge you more to bring in experts and to secure some forms of evidence.

Ask your lawyer right away if the payment they are seeking covers everything. You do not want to be caught off guard by additional expenses while the trial is underway.

How Quickly Will You Respond to My Questions?

Being charged with driving under the influence can be stressful. You may feel uneasy as your case slowly develops. During that time, you may have questions for your lawyer.

You should ask your lawyer how quickly they can respond to your questions. Ask them as well if it is okay for you to contact them on weekends.

Set your expectations when it comes to how quickly your lawyer can respond so you can alleviate the stress you are experiencing.

Do you need a DUI lawyer in Arizona? We at the Schill Law Group are here to offer our services. Contact us today, ask us any questions you have, and let us help you through your current ordeal.

What’s the Difference Between a Felony DUI and a DUI?

What’s the Difference Between a Felony DUI and a DUI?



What’s the Difference Between a Felony DUI and a DUI?

The inherently dangerous act of driving under the influence can never be excused or shrugged off. If the authorities arrest you, the law will punish you accordingly depending on whether you committed a misdemeanor or felony DUI violation.

Knowing the difference between a misdemeanor DUI charge and a felony DUI charge is important. The dangers of impaired driving should already be reason enough for you to sober up before getting behind the wheel. If they are not enough, though, the penalties you could receive should give you more reasons to reconsider.

Let’s talk about the differences between a misdemeanor and a felony DUI charge in this article. The information here should tell you all you need to know about how seriously Arizona takes impaired driving and why you should avoid it.

A Refresher on Drunk Driving in Arizona

Before we get into differentiating the misdemeanor and felony variants of DUI charges, let’s focus first on what drunk driving is. Alcohol intoxication can impact how you perceive your surroundings and how you control your body. Given alcohol’s effects on the body, individuals who are intoxicated while driving pose a greater risk to themselves and the people around them.

The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent. The authorities can charge drivers with a BAC level that exceeds 0.08 with a DUI violation.

Notably though, that legal limit only applies to drivers of private vehicles who are twenty-one years old or older.

In the state of Arizona, they can still charge drivers of commercial vehicles with a BAC level above 0.04 with DUI. For drivers under the age of twenty-one, any level of alcohol in their bodies will warrant a DUI charge.

When Is a DUI Charge Considered a Misdemeanor Violation?

Most of the time, they will regard a DUI charge as a misdemeanor if it’s your first violation. That is usually the case regardless of whether you were driving a private or commercial vehicle. Drivers under the age of twenty-one who get a DUI are likely to receive a misdemeanor violation.

A first-time DUI charge remains a misdemeanor violation if you did not harm anyone due to your negligence. They would not elevate the charge if you did not have anyone under the age of fifteen inside your vehicle.

What Are the Penalties for a Misdemeanor DUI Violation?

You can expect to receive some significant penalties even if it’s your first misdemeanor DUI charge. Jail time will be among the penalties you face. To be more specific, you may spend time in jail for no less than ten consecutive days.

Arizona residents in violation of the state’s DUI laws for the first time will also pay a fine. The minimum amount you’ll pay is $1,250.

Violators will also render community service and take part in alcohol education, screening, and treatment. In Arizona, individuals found guilty of violating their DUI laws will also get a certified ignition interlock device attached to any vehicles they drive.

Points are additional aspects of DUI penalties. Eight points are added to your record if you commit a DUI violation.

Because you have eight points on your record, you are a candidate to have your driving privileges suspended for up to twelve months. You will need to attend Traffic Survival School to avoid getting your driving privileges suspended.

One more thing to note here is that the penalties apply only to those with a misdemeanor DUI violation. That means your BAC level is at 0.08 percent or higher but below 0.15 percent. If you receive an extreme or super extreme DUI misdemeanor charge, the penalties will be different.

How BAC Level Affects Your Penalties

A subject of significant confusion is whether your BAC level will affect the kind of charge you receive. It’s easy to see why Arizona residents can get confused considering the state uses different terminologies when referring to DUI charges based on BAC levels.

For instance, if your BAC level is over 0.15 percent, you could get an extreme DUI charge. You could also receive a super DUI charge if your BAC level is 0.20 percent or higher.

Those distinctions don’t mean much in terms of whether you’ll get a misdemeanor or a felony. Even if your BAC level qualifies you for a super extreme DUI charge, they will regard it as a misdemeanor.

So, if the BAC level does not change a misdemeanor to a felony, why do extreme and super extreme DUI charges still exist? The distinction is necessary because it affects the penalties assessed.

In the case of an individual hit with an extreme DUI misdemeanor charge for the first time, jail time will be a minimum of 120 days. The individual will also pay a minimum fine of $3,250 and have their license revoked for twelve months. The same penalties regarding alcohol education, screening, and treatment, plus community service and the certified ignition interlock device will remain in effect.

Is a Second DUI Violation Considered a Felony?

Like we noted earlier, you’ll likely receive a misdemeanor violation the first time you’re guilty of impaired driving. But what about the second time you violate Arizona’s DUI laws? Will you be charged with a felony then?

The answer depends on a few factors.

The charge you ultimately receive will depend on whether you caused injury while drunk driving. Causing serious injury typically means that your charge will go up to a felony.

They can also charge you with a more serious crime if you were drunk driving while someone under the age of fifteen was in the vehicle.

Basically, the same criteria that could lead to you receiving a felony for your first DUI violation still apply the second time around. However, there are additional factors they will look at.

Remember, they can suspend your driving privileges if you fail to attend Traffic Survival School. If they suspend your driving privileges, getting caught drunk driving again will result in a felony charge.

If the arresting officer finds that a certified ignition interlock device was attached to your vehicle when you were driving drunk, you can expect to receive a felony. That device is supposed to prevent the vehicle from starting if your BAC level is over the legal limit. The fact that you were drunk driving means that you either tampered with or circumvented the device in some way.

What Are the Penalties for a Second Misdemeanor DUI Violation?

The penalties will be harsher the second time you receive a misdemeanor DUI violation.

Mandatory jail time will be a minimum of ninety days. Meanwhile, your minimum fine will be $3,000. You will also render community service again.

A certified ignition interlock device will again be attached to your vehicle. Repeat violators will also undergo alcohol education, screening, and treatment.

Lastly, they will revoke your driver’s license for twelve months. That will be the case even if you decide to attend Traffic Survival School.

What Is Aggravated DUI?

To put it simply, aggravated DUI is what you’ll receive if your DUI violation goes from being a misdemeanor to a felony. So, what constitutes an aggravated DUI charge in Arizona? The courts will look at a variety of factors when determining that.

First, they’ll consider if your drunk driving led to injury or possibly even cause someone’s death.

Next, the courts will consider if you were driving recklessly while under the influence of alcohol. A factor they consider is the age of the passengers with you.  If someone under the age of fifteen was in your vehicle while you were driving drunk, you would likely receive a felony.

Also, driving in the wrong direction while drunk is another example of being reckless on the road. You could get a felony because of that.

The courts will also not take kindly to you if you ignored their orders. Driving sober with a revoked license can already get you in plenty of hot water. Driving drunk with a revoked license will lead to a felony charge.

You should also avoid messing with your certified ignition interlock device. Felony charges will be handed down to a drunk driver with certified ignition interlock devices attached to their vehicle.

One more factor that matters in aggravated DUI cases is the number of times you’ve been arrested for this same violation. Arizona law dictates that drivers who are caught driving drunk a third time within a span of eighty-four months will be charged with a felony. Subsequent violations will also lead to a felony.

What Are the Penalties for an Aggravated DUI Charge?

The penalties handed down for aggravated DUI charges are mostly similar to the ones that are attached to misdemeanor cases. Guilty parties will attend alcohol education, screening, and treatment. They will also need to perform community and get a certified ignition interlock device attached to their vehicle.

A person guilty of aggravated DUI will also have their driver’s license revoked for twelve months.

The most significant difference between the penalties handed down for misdemeanor and felony DUI charges is the type of incarceration they will receive.

Individuals guilty of aggravated DUI can count on harsher punishment in that regard. The time they spend incarcerated will be no more than two years. On top of that, they will also serve their sentence in prison instead of jail.

felony dui checkpoint

What Are Other Ways a Person May Be in Violation of Arizona’s DUI Laws?

Arizona residents should know that you don’t need to fail a test to violate the state’s DUI laws. If you’ve been stopped because they suspected you were driving under the influence and you refused the tests, they can revoke your driver’s license for up to twelve months.

Drivers who refuse the test a second time within 84 months may lose their license for a longer period. In that case, the period of revocation could last for two years.

Losing your driver’s license is already a significant inconvenience, but that’s not all you need to worry about. Drivers who refuse the test will also undergo alcohol screening before their driver’s license can be reinstated.

How Can an Attorney Help if You’ve Been Charged with Drunk Driving?

There is no excuse for drunk driving. If you’ve had a few drinks, you have no business getting behind the wheel of your vehicle. Ride with a sober friend, book a ride via a ridesharing app, or hop into a taxi if you want to get home while you’re still intoxicated.

Still, even responsible people can make mistakes from time to time. If you believe that you did make a mistake, but you did not commit a felony, an attorney can help you out.

Your attorney could argue that the police officers were using faulty equipment when they tested your BAC level. An attorney could also argue that you did not know you had consumed an alcoholic drink before you got into your vehicle.

They can use different defenses in DUI cases to prove your innocence. Partner up with a skilled and experienced Arizona attorney if you want justice for your case.

Arizona residents in need of an attorney can approach us at the Schill Law Group for assistance. Contact us today, and we’ll help you fight any erroneous charges against you.

Understanding the Arizona DUI Laws

Understanding the Arizona DUI Laws



Understanding the Arizona DUI Laws

Few things can be as dangerous on the road as a drunk driver. Arizona DUI laws are supposed to keep residents safe from them.

However, not everyone may fully understand those laws, and that can be a real problem. If people are not aware of what constitutes driving under the influence in Arizona, then they may wrongly assume that they are not breaking any laws when they get behind the wheel of their car.

Some drivers may also be unaware of what penalties wait for them if they are driving under the influence. In that case, further education is welcome because a lot of Arizona drivers will decide to sober up knowing how big of a risk they could be taking.

Find out more about the Arizona DUI laws and develop a better understanding of why drunk driving is an awful idea by reading on.

The Statistics Showing Why We Need to Sober Up

Even one death or injury caused by drunk driving is one too many. Sadly, this demonstration of grossly irresponsible behavior can lead to more than a terrible incident.

According to Responsibility.org, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 28.2 percent of total driving deaths in Arizona. Furthermore, 20 percent of under-21 driving-related fatalities in the state are young people who took to the road while they were still experiencing the effects of the alcoholic drinks they consumed.

What’s probably even more concerning is that instances of people driving under the influence in Arizona have increased in recent years.

The same site notes the 10-year change in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 members of the population. They note that for the timeframe going from 2009 to 2018, there was a 15.6 percent increase in those alcohol-influenced driving fatalities.

Even if you only account for the drivers under the age of 21, the increase is still notably increased. For that same period of time, there was a 3.1 percent increase in the number of under 21 alcohol-related driving fatalities per 100,000 members of the population.

Those trends are highly disturbing, and they must be slowed down as soon as possible. Teaching more motorists about what constitutes drunk driving could help in that regard.

DUI laws in AZ

What Qualifies as Driving Under the Influence in Arizona?

There are different levels of driving under the influence in Arizona. They come with different penalties so learning more about them is crucial.


First off, you have DUI cases. Notably, what constitutes a DUI charge can vary depending on why the driver was on the road.

The BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level for drivers of private vehicles cannot be above .08 percent. While you might assume that it takes a while before your blood alcohol concentration reaches that level, that is not necessarily the case.

Per the Arizona Department of Public Safety, even a single 8-ounce beer can cause your BAC level to surpass that threshold. That’s especially true if you are on the lighter side in terms of weight.

The threshold is even lower if you are the driver of a commercial vehicle, i.e., buses, taxis, or other similar modes of transportation. Instead of .08 percent, the BAC threshold for commercial drivers is 04 percent.

As you can imagine, it’s even easier to go past that limit as even a 5-ounce glass of wine could be enough to disqualify you from getting behind the wheel if you’re a commercial vehicle driver.

Individuals under the age of 21 are not allowed to drive if they have had any alcohol at all.

What Are the DUI Penalties in Arizona?

The severity of the penalties after being cited for DUI depends on whether the incident in question represents your first time with such an offense or if you’re a repeat offender.

For First-Time Offenders:

  • Community Service – You will be required to render a certain amount of community service.
  • Mandatory Alcohol Screening – Offending drivers will be required to undergo alcohol screening following their arrest. The screening is also necessary if the offending individual wants to reinstate his/her driving privileges.
  • Traffic Survival School – You must attend Traffic Survival School if you want to reclaim your driving privileges.
  • Installation of Certified Ignition Interlock Device – A certified ignition interlock device keeps your vehicle from starting if your BAC is above a certain level. You will have to blow into it if you want to drive. The device may also ask you to blow into it additional times after you start driving.
  • Loss of Driving Privileges – You will lose your driving privileges right away after being arrested for DUI. Your license could end up suspended anywhere from 90 days up to a year.
  • Jail Time – Behaving irresponsibly can land some drivers in jail. First-time offenders may spend 24 hours in jail or serve a sentence that goes up to 10 days.
  • Fines – A $250 base fine on first-time DUI offenders.

For Second-Time Offenders:

  • Community Service
  • Mandatory Alcohol Screening
  • Traffic Survival School Attendance
  • Installation of Certified Ignition Interlock Device
  • Loss of Driving Privilege – Your driver’s license will be suspended for a year at least.
  • Jail Time – Second-time offenders may be sentenced to a 30-day stay in jail, but that can go up to 90 days.
  • Fines – The base fine climbs to $500 for second-time DUI offenders.

For Third-Time Offenders:

  • Community Service
  • Mandatory Alcohol Screening
  • Traffic Survival School Attendance
  • Installation of Certified Ignition Interlock Device
  • Loss of Driving Privileges – You won’t be able to drive for a year.
  • Jail Time – Third-time DUI offenders can expect to spend a minimum of four months in jail.
  • Fines – Third-time DUI offenders will pay a $750 base fine.

Extreme DUI

Arizona DUI laws also account for cases of extreme DUI. These are the cases wherein the driver’s BAC level is above 0.15 percent.

Unsurprisingly, penalties are harsher for individuals found guilty of extreme DUI, as the Arizona Department of Transportation shows.

For First-Time Offenders:

  • Community Service
  • Mandatory Alcohol Screening
  • Traffic Survival School Attendance
  • Installation of Certified Ignition Interlock Device
  • Loss of Driving Privileges
  • Jail Time – Your jail sentence is not going to be anything shorter than 30 days. On top of that, you will not be eligible for probation or a suspended sentence.
  • Fines – People driving with a BAC level over 0.15 percent will pay a fine no smaller than $2,500.

For Repeat Offenders:

  • Community Service
  • Mandatory Alcohol Screening
  • Traffic Survival School Attendance
  • Installation of Certified Ignition Interlock Device
  • Loss of Driving Privileges
  • Jail Time – An additional extreme DUI arrest can lead to you spending at least 120 days in jail.
  • Fines – Along with all the other penalties, repeat extreme DUI offenders must also pay a fine of at least $3,250.

What Is Aggravated DUI?

There is also a violation known as aggravated DUI in the state of Arizona. You can be charged with aggravated DUI if the following conditions apply:

  • You are guilty of a DUI offense while your driver’s license was still suspended, canceled, or revoked.
  • You had two prior DUI charges on your permanent driving record when you were cited for the same violation a third time within a span of 84 months.
  • You had a person under the age of 15 inside the vehicle while you were driving under the influence.
  • You committed a DUI offense while a certified ignition interlock device was in your vehicle.
  • You refuse to submit a blood alcohol content test while a certified ignition interlock device was in your vehicle.

dui penalties

The Penalties for an Aggravated DUI Charge

The penalties you’ll face if the state finds you guilty of aggravated DUI are pretty similar to the ones that accompany other DUI charges. You’ll need to render community service, submit to alcohol screening, attend Traffic Survival School, have a certified ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, and lose your driving privilege.

You’ll also be facing jail time. This time around, your jail sentence could last up to two years.

Can You Be Charged with DUI Even without Driving?

Arizona takes road safety seriously. In addition to their DUI guidelines and penalties, they have also enacted a law that hopes to curtail a DUI offense before it can even begin.

According to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, it is illegal for anyone to be in “actual physical control” of a vehicle if they are under the intoxicating influence of alcohol.

So, what does that mean? Well, it means that you should remember to steer clear of the driver’s seat if you’ve been drinking.

They can find you guilty of this offense if a police officer sees you behind the wheel of the vehicle while it is running. The headlights of the vehicle being turned on could also spell trouble for you.

The location of the vehicle also matters. If it was in a parking lot while you were resting in the driver’s seat, then you’re probably in the clear. If the vehicle was stopped on the road or perhaps about to enter the road, you may have a hard time arguing your innocence.

This law pertaining to “actual physical control” of the vehicle is one of the trickier ones to argue against. Lawyer up if the state is charging you with this type of violation.

How the Government Is Working to Curb Drunk Driving

In addition to the harsh DUI laws and penalties, the government is also doing other things to help discourage drivers from getting into the driver’s seat while drunk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these measures include establishing sobriety checkpoints and having high-visibility saturation patrols roam the streets at times during which drunk driving is more prevalent.

To further discourage young drivers from taking to the road while drunk, the government is also investing in school-based instructional programs.

What You Can Do to Avoid Drunk Driving

Stopping the epidemic of drunk driving starts with ourselves. By being smarter and more responsible whenever we go out, our roads can become significantly safer.

Listed below are some tips for you to follow if you want to avoid drunk driving.

Bring Extra Cash if You’re Going Out

It’s easy to say that you won’t have an alcohol drink while you’re still at home. The reality, though, is that your mood might change as soon as you reach the restaurant or the bar. At that point, refusing the temptation of having an drink becomes significantly harder.

Training yourself to say no to an alcoholic drink is important, but you should be ready if you cannot resist that temptation.

Err on the side of caution by taking some extra cash with you. If possible, make sure the cash is a little over what you’ll need to pay for a ride home.

You may be hesitant to use your smartphone to pay for anything while you’re intoxicated, so go ahead and hail a taxi and pay with cash.

Make Sure Your Smartphone Is Charged

While we’re on the subject of smartphones, it’s also a good idea to bring yours along whenever you go out. Like we said above, we can never be certain what will happen once we’re outside.

Thanks to your smartphone, you can call up a family member or friend to pick you up if you’ve been drinking. There’s no need to even attempt to drive home while drunk.

Don’t Take Your Car with You if You’re Planning to Have Some Drinks

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid the temptation of driving while drunk is to leave your vehicle at home. With the prevalence of ride-sharing services these days, you don’t need to take your car with you every time you want to go blow off some steam.

Leave the car keys at home, book a ride, and enjoy your night out without endangering yourself or anyone else.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is never acceptable. It puts you and numerous other drivers and passengers in danger. On top of all that, you could quickly find yourself in a legal nightmare if you’re drunk driving.

If you’ve made that mistake, you need to face the charges properly. Allow us at the Schill Law Group to help you get a fair sentence from the court. Reach out to us today to learn about our services.