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D.C. DUI Defense: Cinco De Mayo

by | May 1, 2012

Washington D.C. DUI defense attorneys know that certain holidays are going to be busier for us than others: St. Patrick’s Day, July 4th – and Cinco De Mayo.

D.C. DUI’s spike on the 5th of May, commemorating the May 5, 1852 Battle of Puebla in Mexico. It was a surprise victory for the Mexicans, who were far outnumbered by French aggressors.

Now, some 160 years later, revelers won’t necessarily be outnumbered by roving police patrols, but they will be fighting an uphill battle in the court system if they are arrested. Celebrations can quickly sour, and the need for a skilled D.C. DUI defense attorney becomes crucially important.

It’s well known that on holidays like Cinco De Mayo, law enforcement officers consider it an easy opportunity to pick up drunk drivers as they leave bars or downtown events.

The best option, of course, is not to drink and drive. Drinking any amount before you get behind the wheel is going to put you at risk of a DUI. People make the mistake of thinking they aren’t drunk. And the truth is, they may be able to operate a vehicle just fine after a beer or two. However, the first point to make on that is that most people are very bad judges when it comes to their own level of inebriation. Secondly, law enforcement is going to treat each case the same across the board, regardless of whether you were operating your vehicle just fine or not. What’s more, any slight deviation from perfect vehicle operation is going to be attributed to the alcohol if you’ve been drinking.

So again, the best thing to do is not to drink before driving, or don’t drive at all. Call a cab or take a bus or have a friend come and get you.

Now, we would NEVER encourage drinking and driving – but what if it’s too late?

First, it helps if you’re vehicle registration is current. A lot of people are stopped in the first place because their tags are expired. That leads to more detailed questioning and inspection, and can ultimately result in a D.C. DUI.

Secondly, obey all traffic laws. Watch your speed. Don’t make turns without signaling. Don’t change lanes without signaling. This seems like simple stuff, but often, these are the reasons people get stopped in the first place.

Thirdly, make sure your car has met all the requirements to be on the road. Are your windows tinted? Are all your lights in working order? This is important because an officer who stops you has to have valid reason. If he or she doesn’t, it may later be easy for them to say that any one of these infractions was the original reason for the stop. If the car is in good legal shape, there will be less wiggle room for them there.

And finally, don’t admit to the officer that you have consumed alcohol. That doesn’t mean lying to police officers (that could land you in more trouble). However, you do have the right to remain silent. Politely but firmly tell the officer you do not wish to answer their questions. It’s not illegal (in fact, it’s your right!) and it will likely help your case in the long run.

If you are facing DUI charges in D.C., contact the Scrofano Law, PC for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights or fill out our online contact form. Visa, Mastercard and Discover cards accepted. Call 202-765-3175.