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Don’t lose your independence with a Fourth of July DUI

Before heading out for your Fourth of July plans, remember that police in Missouri will be out in full force looking for impaired drivers as part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

Numerous law enforcement agencies will be joining forces in effort to crack down on as many suspected drunk drivers as possible using sobriety checkpoints and extra patrols.

Those who find themselves cited for DUI will face very serious consequences. Even first-time offenders face up to $500 in fines and up to six months in jail. They also risk a 30-day license suspension followed by a 60-day restrictive license. Those who refuse a breath test also face a 12-month license suspension.

Of course, the consequences only get more severe with each additional conviction. Potential fines and jail time increase, and those who are convicted of DUI twice in the same 10-year period face felony charges if they are accused a third time.

Anyone who is charged will need to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in order to have the best chance at preventing the charge from turning into a conviction. Even when evidence seems stacked up against you, it is always worth your while to meet with a lawyer to see if there were problems with the field sobriety tests and blood-alcohol tests that were performed.

Of course, the best way to avoid a DUI is to arrange a sober ride home if you plan to celebrate Independence Day with alcohol. If you are impaired, call a sober friend or family member for a ride home, or use public transportation to get to your destination safely.

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