PRACTICAL TIPS TO AVOID A NASHVILLE DUI
1. Don’t Drink and Drive. While it’s not illegal to drink and drive, the only sure way to avoid an arrest for DUI is not to put yourself in a position where an officer suspects you of being intoxicated. The only way to do that for sure is to avoid alcohol prior to driving. You breath can smell like you have been drinking all day long even if you have had a few sips of someone's beer or any other alcoholic beverage. Spend the money and call a cab if you have been drinking, Try calling a friend or family member, or even consider a hotel room. The bottom line is, if you are arrested for a DUI you will be in the jail wishing you had arranged a safe way home or a safe place to stay overnight. Plan ahead. Spend a little, save a lot.
2. Get off the road by 11:00 p.m at the latest. The majority of DUI arrests occur around midnight and for the main reason that people tend to leave bars around that time, especially bars and clubs closing much later. It is the third watch (11p.m. – 7 a.m.) officers that are much more aggressive in their enforcement. When you would ordinarily not be pulled over for a license plate cover that makes the plate harder to see during normal hours, after 11:00 p.m. the chances of a stop occurring drastically increase.
3. Do not drive carelessly. Simply put, if you do not give law enforcement a reason to pull you over, you do not have to worry about a drunk driving arrest. If you have been out drinking for a night and decide to drive home make sure to pay attention to posted speed limits, traffic lights, and devices. You should understand that a “concerned citizen” call can be sufficient to justify an officer to respond and pull behind you to observe your driving. You should also understand that you are not making a complete stop at a stop light or stop sign unless your body falls back in your seat immediately and after you vehicle rolls backwards ever so slightly. Also, It is important to treat others on the road with respect when you’ve had a few and are driving home. If you don’t give the police a reason to stop you, then you don’t have to worry about what to do following the stop.
4. Ensure your vehicle accessories are working properly. The smallest traffic violation or vehicle equipment/lighting violation gives law enforcement a legal basis to stop your vehicle. Ensuring that all lighting and equipment is in proper working order will greatly decrease your chances of being stopped in the first place.
5. Remove license plate frames or covers that obscure or obstruct the reading of any portion of your license plate. More frequently law enforcement officers are making a habit of stopping vehicles because the license plate frame covers or obscures a portion of the license plate. The best way to this is to remove any frames or covers that makes the license plate hard to read or obstructs any portion of any letters on the plate.
6. Don’t drive on a suspended or revoked licensed. In the State of Tennessee, law enforcement may stop a vehicle if the registered owner is suspended, canceled or otherwise revoked. Police officers will routinely run license plate numbers of vehicles in front of them or that they pass as they travel down the road. If the registered owner comes back as suspended or revoked, you just gave them reason to stop you and it can be all downhill from there.
7. Do not sleep in the driver’s seat of a vehicle that is running. Call a cab or friend. If you are going to take a nap don't take it in your car. If it is cold and you must, take it in the rear seat, make sure the vehicle is not running, and take the keys out of the ignition and temporarily get rid of them! A few extra steps can save you a few thousand dollars, increased insurance rates, loss of license, loss of job, and jail time.
8. Do not use your cell phone while driving. Studies have shown that individuals talking/texting on cell phones can be equally, if not more impaired, than individuals with an alcohol concentration of .08. Combine cell phone use and a few beers and you are asking for trouble. Wait to make your phone calls until you make it home.
9. Do not make stops on your way home. While a late-night snack seems like a good idea after a night out, it drastically increases the odds of you spending the night in jail. More people get called in for drunk driving by fast food restaurant drive-through workers and convenience store workers than you might think. Additionally, many security officers and police officers often observe the late night drive-through from a distance for any unusual behavior.
10. Do not eat while driving. Just like talking/texting on your cell phone, eating food impairs your ability to safely operate your vehicle. The less distractions you have while driving the better off you will be.