Debunking Common DUI Myths and Misconceptions
Over a million people are arrested for DUI every year. But since drinking has become a huge part of American culture, people are always trying to come up with ways to outsmart the breathalyzer and drive home after a night of drinking and partying. Debunking Common DUI Myths is the aim of this article.
Drunk driving myths have propagated over the years in an attempt to beat the system. And while it’s quite normal for myths to develop around certain things, the ones surrounding drinking and driving can be dangerous.
Today, we’re setting things straight.
Below are the most common DUI myths and misconceptions, debunked:
Myth #1 – Your BAC has to be 0.08 percent or higher to get a DUI.
If you think that you can only be charged with DUI if your blood-alcohol content (BAS) is 0.08% or higher; think again. In many states, an officer can arrest you for DUI if he or she believes that you’re driving impaired due to the influence of alcohol, regardless of your BAC level.
Conversely, despite the “per se” law in most states, where BAC is considered enough proof to convict someone for driving under the influence, you can still challenge the validity of your test results. Experienced DUI attorneys can help you put up a fight to avoid conviction.
Myth #2 – If you drive carefully, you won’t get caught for driving under the influence.
Even the most careful drivers can still get caught for drunk driving. States are imposing stricter DUI laws now more than ever and, with that, DUI checkpoints are popping up everywhere.
Law enforcement officers may detain motorists for a short time to check for impaired driving, and arrest them if they fail the tests.
Myth #3 – Law enforcers have to catch you driving to arrest you for DUI.
Many people believe that they can only be charged with DUI if they are caught behind the wheel of a vehicle. Unfortunately, they’re dead wrong.
An officer does not necessarily have to catch you drunk driving to give you a DUI. If cops saw you get out of your vehicle, for example, and spot you acting drunk, they can reasonably assume that you were driving intoxicated and arrest you for DUI.
Myth #4 – Eating or waiting an hour after drinking will lower your BAC levels.
Eating or waiting for it to burn off are the usual bets that people have at lowering their BAC. However, these aren’t reliable courses of action as far as avoiding a DUI is concerned.
Eating may help you combat the narcotic effects of alcohol, but does absolutely nothing with your BAC levels. Moreover, studies have shown that your BAC is usually at its highest an hour after your last drink, so waiting for it to lower is no good either.
The best way to avoid a DUI is to NOT drink or get a designated driver. Even if you’ve only had one or two glasses, you can still fail a breathalyzer test.
Myth #5 – Sucking on a penny can trick the breathalyzer.
No, sucking on a penny will not increase your chances of passing a breathalyzer test. This urban legend has been proven false time and time again in the area of debunking common DUI myths. The television show Mythbusters also showed this common misbelief to be untrue.
The breathalyzer measures the air that comes up from deep within your lungs, so the presence of metal in your mouth won’t change anything. Besides, law enforcers are likely to check your mouth before the test. If you’re hiding a penny in there, they’ll find it.
Myth #6 – Drinking coffee or taking a cold shower can help you sober up.
People often feel like they’ve sobered up after consuming a cup of coffee or taking a cold shower because it makes them feel awake and more alert. The reality is that doing these things have no effect on your BAC level whatsoever. In fact, combining alcohol and coffee can be counterproductive and increase the attributable harms of alcohol consumption.
You’ll only stop being intoxicated after alcohol leaves your system. It’s a slow metabolic process that will take several hours to complete.
Myth #7 – It’s just a DUI charge. I don’t need a lawyer.
Getting a DUI is not the same as getting a ticket for a traffic violation. For one, DUI is a criminal charge that is harshly persecuted in all states. You will need expert legal representation if you fight the charges against you and have them dismissed or, at least, reduced.
A reputable DUI attorney can help investigate whether the evidence against you is valid and build a strong argument to defend your case, as well as help you with debunking common DUI myths.
About the Author
Andrea Williams is the Community Manager at The Law Offices of Alcock & Associates P.C., a premier law group in Arizona that provides legal services to clients involved in Personal Injury, DUI, Immigration, and Criminal cases. She enjoys cooking, reading books, and playing minigolf with her friends and family in her spare time.