1. Not Having a Designated Driver

Planning ahead can save you from a world of regret. Before going out for drinks, designate a driver to get you home safely. If you can’t assign a designated driver, find the number to a local cab company. If either plan falls through, bars and restaurants can always find a cab for you. Being proactive and practical will always save you money, and it can also keep you from losing your license and help save lives.

  1. Failure to Have Your Driving Documents Readily Available

If you drink and choose to drive, it is important to have your driving documents – such as your license, registration, and proof of insurance – ready. Law enforcement will be looking for any type of behavior that remotely suggests that you are under the influence. Fumbling around your wallet or purse could be enough evidence for an officer to assume you are under the influence. This risk can be eliminated if you keep your documents in one place at all times.

  1. Not Hiring the Right Santa Rosa DUI Defense Lawyer

Many people try to do the right thing by hiring an attorney after a DUI arrest. Where a lot of people go wrong is that they trust their legal matters to less experienced lawyers and may base their selection of an attorney solely on cost. You should be able to trust that your lawyer can be depended on to investigate your case, exhaust all avenues of defense, hire experts, and bring your matter to trial if necessary.

  1. Failure to Obtain a Copy of the Police Report

Not requesting a copy of a police report or other sources of evidence could be detrimental to your case. Police reports can often be the basis of a strong defense. Failure to collect any evidence that can be used in your favor could weaken your case.

  1. Failure to Learn Your Miranda Rights

Miranda rights protect your constitutional right to remain silent after an arrest, to have an attorney represent you, and to avoid self-incrimination. To exercise your Miranda rights, it is wise to vocalize your desire to remain silent. If you exercise your right by acknowledging the Miranda warning, you could strengthen your defense.

  1. Self-Incrimination or Helping Police Gather Evidence Against You

It is a natural reaction to speak with police. But in the case of a DUI charge, one of the least helpful things to do is give officers any reasonable cause to search you or conduct a sobriety test. If police officers try to ask if you have had any alcohol, any admission you make will be used against you in court. Instead, it may be wise to ask to speak with an attorney. Though you cannot consult a lawyer before a breath test is administered, asking for a lawyer should cut off additional questioning by an officer.

  1. Driving After a License Suspension

If you are caught driving with a suspended license after a DUI suspension, you will face additional consequences and penalties. In addition to a longer license suspension period, you may be sentenced to up to 60 days in jail. Penalties for driving with a suspended license will be added to any previous penalties.

  1. Failure to Appear at Your Court Date

Failure to appear or forgetting your court date could result in a bench warrant for your arrest. The courts will revoke any bail or bonds that you may have posted. Failing to appear at a court date is one of the most harmful mistakes in a DUI case. Judges take this very seriously.

  1. Disclosing Information About Your Case to Someone Other Than Your Lawyer

Talking to anyone other than your attorney could be harmful to your case. Even if you think a law enforcement officer is on your side, do not say anything. Do not be fooled! It is the job of a prosecutor and law enforcement officers to obtain any evidence against you, and even simple words that you said when you let your guard down can become incriminating. Even statements made to your insurance adjuster after a DUI-related crash may be used against you.

  1. Representing Yourself in Court

An experienced DUI lawyer can represent your best interests in court. If you refused to take a breath test, didn’t exercise your Miranda rights, or failed to appear in court, a lawyer is best suited to fight the allegations made against you with a strong legal defense. Your representative can ensure that the prosecution plays by the rules and does not take advantage of you in court.


Drunk, intoxicated, and impaired driving is an increasing problem. As a result, California is experiencing the growing trend of needing lawyers who specifically concentrate in this niche area of the law.

Attorneys who have dedicated a portion of their practice to DUI defense can offer clients the most effective and experienced representation for their drunk driving defense matters. Strong DUI laws and unforgiving law enforcement techniques require the attention of a lawyer who has undergone extensive training in DUI practice.

California‚Äôs DUI penalties are some of the nation’s strictest. You can take steps to prevent an arrest and reduce your chances of losing your DUI case.


At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we have successfully defended thousands of DUI cases since 1992.

We recognized as one of the Top 10 DUI Law Firms in all of California for client satisfaction by the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys in 2015.

We have been chosen to lecture at legal seminars for DUI law and practice.

With a Superb Rating by Avvo, we can be trusted to represent your case and defend your rights.

If you are ready to discuss your DUI case, contact our firm to schedule your free case evaluation.

Many lawyers say they defend DUI cases, but many of them do not actually understand the complex science behind the DUI process, nor do they understand the intricate balance of law and science that must be achieved in order to secure a positive resolution and avoid a DUI conviction.

Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Find out what separates us from the pack.