Being arrested or convicted for driving while under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be devastating. You may face jail time, large fines, or even lose your driver's license temporarily—or permanently. These consequences can snowball and affect your relationships and job, which only makes the situation worse.

If you are concerned about drinking and driving, it is important that you educate yourself. If you don't know where to start, don't worry. Just follow these four tips:

1. Obey Traffic Laws

If you want to avoid getting a DUI or DWI, you must obey all traffic laws. Although it is not illegal to drink and drive, it is probably best to avoid it. If you find that you do need to drive after drinking, make sure your blood alcohol level is below the legal limit of .08 percent.

Your body can process about one alcoholic drink per hour, so take this into account before you decide to drive; because even if you don't feel drunk, your blood alcohol level may be above the legal limit.

2. Be Polite and Forthcoming

If you are pulled over, be polite. Sassing the police officer will get you nowhere—except maybe jail. Although you should exercise your legal rights, you should do so in a polite manner. Use the officer's name, or simply call him or her "officer." Do not curse, make demands, or do anything else that makes you seem intoxicated or suspicious.

Additionally, make sure you are forthcoming and approachable. When the officer walks up to your car, make sure your hands are easily visible—both of them. You might also want to turn on interior lights if it is dark. Do not make any sudden movements and provide the officer with any information they require.

3. Avoid Saying You Drank

Honesty is usually the best policy; but when it comes to a DUI or DWI, it is best to avoid admitting that you have consumed alcohol. If the officer asks, do not say that you just had "one glass" with dinner or a friend. The officer probably won't believe you. In addition, your admittance may be used against you in court.

If you are pulled over and the officer asks, either deny drinking or say nothing at all.

4. Know Your Rights

Finally, make sure you know your legal rights. A police officer can only pull you over for recklessness or suspicion. If you are pulled over, make sure you know why. If you are asked to perform a field sobriety test, do it—as you are required to. However, do not take the preliminary breathalyzer test, as you not legally required to submit to it until you are arrested and detained.

Although these tips can help, sometimes driving under the influence happens. If you do get pulled over—or have been arrested—for a DUI or DWI, contact a DUI attorney for legal help.