Halloween is the perfect time of year to let loose and have a good time, but that doesn’t mean that laws aren’t still in place. At Donahue Law Firm, we want everyone to be safe while having fun. Our DUI attorneys understand that Halloween parties must have booze, we’ve been there too, but it’s also about drinking responsibly, knowing your limits, and understanding what could happen if you are pulled over and have been drinking. There are plenty of myths and misunderstandings out there about what a DUI is and what the process involves. So before you head out to your next shindig, let’s go over some of the biggest myths about DUIs. If you are ever in a situation where you need a DUI attorney in Bend, contact Donahue Law Firm as soon as possible.

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I can’t get a DUI if I’m not actually driving the car.

Unfortunately, even if you get in your car to drive home but ultimately decide that you shouldn’t drive and try to sleep it off instead, there is still a risk of being charged with a DUI. When you have physical control of the car, and your BAC is above the legal limit, it doesn’t matter if you were merely sleeping. If you are in this situation, it’s best to slide over to the passenger seat or even the back seat to rest, and leave the keys out of the ignition. Even then, there is still a chance of a conviction. If you are ever unsure about what to do, call a cab to take you home.

I can talk to a lawyer before deciding whether or not to submit to a blood or breath test.

Again, unfortunately, no. You do have a right to talk to a lawyer, but only after you have answered the officer’s questions and have taken any required tests. At that point, you can call a DUI attorney to talk about the situation. However, you don’t have to admit that you had been drinking or if you are under the influence of a controlled substance. If you are unsure about what to say, it’s always best to give as little information as possible.

I can refuse a blood or breath test when an officer asks me to take one.

While this was true in the past, you could be arrested if you try this today. In this case, the office has “reasonable grounds” to ask for a BAC test and to potentially arrest you if you refuse. This is also true if you are only asked to take an “evidentiary” test. If you are asked to take a blood or breath test, go ahead and take the test and then contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible. The lawyers at Donahue Law Firm will help you fight any charges in court.

If I am convicted of a DUI, I can get probation instead of going to jail.

For a first offense, if you are convicted in court of a DUI, you will get at least 48 hours in jail, or you will have to serve at least 48 hours of community service. These are minimum penalties, so depending on your BAC and the situation, the penalties could be worse. When you work with Donahue Law Firm, we will do our best to ensure that you spend as little time in jail as possible.

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I will probably be convicted of a DUI if I am pulled over and arrested while driving under the influence.

There are several arguments that can be made that could potentially prevent a conviction. Before you plead guilty, contact a lawyer to discuss the situation; once you plead guilty, you will be found guilty. If you want to fight for your case, plead not guilty and you and your lawyer can try to beat a conviction. Keep in mind that you can change your plea from not guilty to guilty.

I can defend myself in a DUI case.

Yes, it’s true that you can defend yourself, but it is highly discouraged that you do so. The knowledge and experience that a professional DUI attorney brings to the case will have significant benefits for you. A lawyer will be able to avoid certain mistakes and consequences, they will know the ins and outs of DUI law, the best defenses, and they may have an established relationship with the prosecutor and/or judge, and all of these things will help you get the best possible outcome.

The lawyers at Donahue Law Firm want you to have a great Halloween! But we also want to make sure that you are fully prepared in the case that you are pulled over and have been drinking. If you are arrested, be sure to contact us as soon as possible. Our DUI attorneys have been handling DUI cases for years and have a proven track record for success. If you have questions before you head out to a party, please contact us, we’re more than happy to help.