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Don't Let a DUI Ruin Your Labor Day Weekend

Marietta DUI Lawyers Offer Tips to Avoid an Arrest

At The Merchant Law Firm, we are committed to helping out clients avoid the harsh consequences of a criminal conviction. While we have a proven track record of defense in fighting for our clients in the courtroom, we ideally want to help you avoid being arrested in the first place. With Labor Day weekend just around the corner, we want to take the to offer you some tips for staying out of trouble so that you can prevent the possibility of being pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence.

DUI Crackdown in Marietta for Labor Day Weekend 2013

Ten people were killed in traffic collisions statewide over Labor Day weekend in 2012, according to the Georgia State Patrol. This figure includes accident victims who lost their lives on the roads of Cobb County. Furthermore, an additional 230 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents over the holiday weekend, and 240 drivers were arrested for DUI. In response to statistics such as these, the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety created the Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) campaign, which runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The H.E.A.T. program is intended to:

  • Reduce the number of drunk driving accidents
  • Reduce excessive speeding
  • Increase the usage of safety belts
  • Provide traffic safety education to the public

The Marietta Police Department is one of the many law enforcement agencies throughout Georgia that participates in the program as a H.E.A.T. Team. Given that the program is schedule to run through Labor Day, drivers in Marietta can expect to see escalated enforcement activities on roads throughout the city. Consequently, the chances of being pulled over and arrested for drunk driving may be greater, with more police officers on the lookout for indicators of impaired driving. Last year, the Marietta Police Department ran a "Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, which consisted of a zero tolerance approach to DUI enforcement, and there was also a major DUI crackdown for the July 4 th holiday. In addition to routine patrols, there could be DUI checkpoints set up at certain places on the roads of Marietta and throughout Cobb County.

Guidelines for Avoiding a DUI Traffic Stop Over Labor Day Weekend

Given that the police and state patrol will be on the lookout for drunk drivers, the most effective step that you can take to avoid an arrest for DUI is, of course, to avoid drinking and driving. Some the ways you can do this include:

  • Keep your alcohol consumption to an absolute minimum
  • Get a designated driver when you go to a barbecue, party or other event
  • Volunteer to be the designated driver so that you can give your friends and family a safe ride home
  • Make plans that allow you to stay at home or within walking distance of your home
  • Call a cab if you want to allow yourself to have more to drink or if you end up drinking more than you planned to – it's not only safer but also far less expensive than the costs of a DUI arrest and possible conviction

By following these guidelines, you should be able to avoid an arrest or even avoid being pulled over. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen, and you need to be prepared to handle the situation if you do end up being pulled over.

How to Handle a Labor Day Weekend DUI Investigation

In the event that you do find yourself on the roadside being investigated for drunk driving, there are certain steps you should take to protect your rights and minimize the likelihood of an arrest or conviction:

  • Be polite with the officer at all times
  • Exercise your Fifth Amendment right by refusing – politely – to answer questions about where you are coming from, where you are going and whether you have been drinking
  • Have your license, registration and insurance information ready to hand to the officer before he or she approaches your vehicle, so that you don't appear to be fumbling for the documents when requested to hand them over
  • Refuse to take the roadside field sobriety tests, which are not legally required by state law and which have repeatedly been proven to be unreliable
  • Do not refuse to submit to a breath or blood test; Georgia's implied consent law requires that you take a chemical test or lose your license to a mandatory suspension
  • If you do have to take a blood test, proceed immediately to a hospital where you can have an independent blood test performed for later use in comparison with the state's sample

The most important thing you can do when pulled over for DUI is to contact a Marietta criminal defense attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you address the situation. You can call your lawyer during the traffic stop, but you have to insist on your right to an attorney, because the law enforcement officer will not otherwise make provisions for you to do so. Contact us at The Merchant Law Firm to learn more.