Keep Your Record Clean: Auto Accident DUI and Insurance Prevention
Being pulled over by the police on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol can lead to one of the worst days of your life. Although the consequences vary by jurisdiction, having a DUI on your record can have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences. It’s important to know the laws regarding DUI and take steps to ensure your record remains clean. Here are some tips for preventing an auto accident DUI and keeping your record clean.
First and foremost, plan ahead and have a designated driver ready for when you are out drinking. Make sure that whoever is designated will not be drinking themselves, and that they will be able to transport you safely. If you’ve had anything to drink and don’t have a designated driver, take an Uber or taxi to ensure you get home safely without incident.
Another important way to keep your record clean is to remain aware of your own limits. Monitor your alcohol consumption throughout the night and make sure that you are drinking responsibly and not over-imbibing. Be aware of your behavior and remember that any interaction with police can be taken the wrong way if you are exhibiting drunk behavior. Stay hydrated to keep your alcohol tolerance low and your judgment intact.
Never get behind the wheel if you suspect you’re intoxicated. The damage a DUI can do to your record is not worth the risk of driving while impaired. Have a backup plan in place to get home, whether that’s arranging a friend to pick you up, taking an Uber, or spending the night where you are. Another option is to install a ridesharing app on your phone in advance, so that you can launch it quickly if the need arises.
If you find yourself pulled over, never resist or argue with the officer. Respectfully comply with all orders, from providing your license and registration information to blowing into a breathalyzer device. Cooperating with the officers is the most effective way to avoid any further altercation.
Another effective way to prevent a DUI is to consider the consequences of an arrest before drinking. Remind yourself of the severe consequence of getting caught driving under the influence, and take steps to prevent it before the last call bell rings. Imagine the potential riskssuch as a hefty fine or even jail time and remind yourself they aren’t worth the few hours of pleasure drinking may bring.
Be sure to keep your insurance policy and registration up to date. If you ever find yourself being pulled over, being able to produce proof that your car is registered and insured is one of the best ways to avoid aggravating the situation. This is especially true if you have moved since you last updated your information; if your address has changed, update your license and vehicle registration as soon as possible.
It’s also important to sign up for any available SR-22 if you’ve had any DUIs in the past. SR-22 is a form insurers file with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to prove that you have the required auto insurance coverage. Providing proof of insurance may help you get your license reinstated and make sure that your record remains clean.
In addition, it’s important to talk to your insurance company about changing your policy so it covers DUI accidents. If you ever do end up getting into a DUI accident, you’ll want some form of coverage that will help protect you in this unfortunate event. Knowing your DUI insurance coverage will help you protect yourself and your property from major losses that could result from such an accident.
Take time to educate yourself on the laws related to DUI and the penalties that come with it. Understanding the laws in your state and what would happen if you were to be charged with a DUI will help you take preventive measures and avoid getting behind the wheel if you’ve had anything to drink. Knowing your legal rights in this situation can help you protect yourself from unjust treatment.
Finally, it’s best to make sure there’s an attorney you can contact in case of an emergency. While it’s true that you don’t want to, having the contact information of a reliable criminal lawyer on hand could be a lifesaver if you or someone you know ends up in a situation where they need legal representation. Taking just a few extra steps in advance will ensure that you know what to do if you ever encounter a DUI situation.
In addition to the above, investing in a dash cam can help you if you do find yourself pulled over and/or in a DUI accident. Dash cams can help protect you in the event of an auto accident, as you can always reference the video as part of your evidence. If you are pulled over for suspected DUI, having a dash cam may help ensure that the encounter is handled fairly.
Having a DUI on your record can pose difficulties when trying to obtain car insurance or gain employment. Work on forming better habits, develop your self-awareness, and always have an alternative plan for getting home after a night out. Keep proactive and engaged by joining your local MADD chapter, which is an organization committed to preventing and raising awareness about drunk driving and under-21 drinking.
If you suspect someone you know is trying to drive while under the influence, try to intervene and protect them from any potential trouble. One way to do this is to keep tabs on their location and call them if you are concerned. Offer to pick them up and be sure to use politeness or humor to avoid any problems. If they are resistant, remind them of the potential consequences they would face if they decided to drive under the influencenot only could they find themselves in legal trouble, but any accident they cause may result in serious injury or even death.
A sober driving pledge could also make a difference. Cherish the opportunity to protect your license, reputation, and family by taking the pledge to not drive while under the influence. It might be a good idea to have others join you in taking the pledge as a sign of solidarity and commitment.
Finally, do not forget to host and attend events and meetings that are created with the goal of combating drunk driving in mind. Attend events presented by your local law-enforcement organizations, or take part in educational sessions that focus on the prevention of such behaviors. Visiting MADD websites or attending meetings is yet another way to become aware of local drunk driving policies and regulations, and demonstrate your commitment to maintaining a safe and clean driving record.