If you have ever had a barroom discussion about drunk driving, you will likely have heard a lot of so-called facts from so-called experts.
While arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) are common, there are surprising misconceptions about them. Here are three:
Myth: It’s just another traffic ticket
Being arrested for drunk driving will give you much more to worry about than most traffic offenses. For a start, you will get a criminal record if convicted. That can affect your life for years, making it harder to get work and causing many people to look at you differently.
Myth: As long as you stay under 0.08% BAC, you are fine
The standard legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%, but you can still get a DUI for lower levels of alcohol:
- You are under 21: The limit drops to 0.02%
- You are driving a commercial vehicle: The limit drops to 0.04%
- You are driving a school bus: The limit drops to 0.02%
- You were incapable of driving safely: The police would need to explain why they believed this
Myth: You can only get a DUI if driving
Sleeping the alcohol off in your car may seem a sensible idea, and it is certainly better than driving home, but you need to take great care. The police can issue a DUI to someone in a parked car if they consider them to be in physical control of the vehicle. So definitely do not sleep in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition. If you are asleep in the back of your van, it might be easier to argue your case.
Separating fact from fiction is crucial if charged with a DUI. Getting legal help to do this increases the chance of a successful defense.