The White Party, The Dinah Shore, The Steve Chase Awards, Polo and all the other wonderful annual events bring tens of thousands of visitors to our desert and result in people drinking with abandon and meeting members of the Black and White Fraternity called the Riverside Sheriffs. The nervousness that results from this encounter causes drivers to develop Black and White Fever. We have all been driving during the day and seen an officer behind us and wondered if we did something wrong and questioning whether we were about to be stopped. All of a sudden the driver becomes the most careful driver on the road and starts to get nervous and sweat. If you are stopped the Black and White fever will cause you to need multiple deodorant pads while you worry about being cited for speeding let alone a DUI etc.
Can you imagine what you would feel like if you were being followed by a Black & White Patrol Car and you HAD BEEN DRINKING… even though you were not drunk? You start thinking of the consequences of an arrest, conviction and loss of your driver’s license. That is when the “fever” kicks in the most.
Here in the Coachella Valley we have more DUI DEATHS per capita than anywhere else in the country. In Monday’s Desert Sun it was reported that there had been 4 DUI related car crashes in a 25 hour period. This included a fatal collision in Thermal.
Law enforcement is always on the lookout for Drivers who have been drinking. They set up Checkpoints during the year but our law enforcement is even more vigilant during the season that brings in so many visitors from all over the world. I have had DUI clients that I have never met from all over the States and Europe and Japan too.
13 lucky things you should do if you are stopped for a possible DUI?
1. Think carefully about: what you say, your movement, body language and emotions. Please understand that you have a right, in a courteous way, to NOT TALK.
2. You do not have to submit to a breath test at the scene or the Field Sobriety Tests. They are optional. Merely explain that you understand these tests are not mandatory and thus you elect not to take them. You would however agree to a blood test for which they will take you to the station or hospital.
3. Don’t get into an argument with the police. Remember anything you say or do can be used against you.
4. Keep your hands where the police can see them.
5. Don’t run.
6. Don’t touch any police officer.
7. Don’t resist even if you believe you are innocent.
8. Don’t complain at the scene or tell the police they are wrong and that you are going to file a complaint or that you know the Mayor etc.
9. Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest.
10. Remember the officer’s badge and patrol car numbers
11. Write everything down that you can remember immediately upon being released.
12. Try to find Witnesses and their names and phone numbers.
13. If you are injured TAKE photos of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you seek medical attention first.
If you have any questions about the rights set forth herein please call Dale Gribow at 760-837-7500.