Meeting friends at a bar across town is something thousands of people do on a Friday or Saturday night. If you plan to be one of those, however, you'll likely need to sort out how to get there and back home without driving if you're going to consume alcohol. So many people think they'll drive themselves without making plans for what to do if they have too many cocktails; DUI arrests are not uncommon. Before heading out, consider these DUI facts, so you are more inclined to make smart decisions about your night:
1. You Don't Know Your Drinking Limit as Well as You Might Think
Your own interpretation of your behavior after alcohol has entered your bloodstream might be fairly rosy. Even if your friends have described your behavior as "ok", it's important to be honest and realize that your ability to reason, make choices and operate a vehicle are impaired as soon as you swallow even a sip. You may not pass out or slur your words, but any alcohol will affect your driving and braking abilities; a split second can make all the difference, and if you're drinking that second could be lost.
2. Police Don't Need to Give You Tests to Take You In
There's a misconception that police are unable to arrest people without sobriety and breathalyzer testing. Faced with police scrutiny, some try to get away by asserting their right not to test at all. If you attempt to evade testing, you must know that an officer may still handcuff you and take you to a holding facility. Why?
Without knowing your state's DUI laws, you might not even understand that--in many states--the moment a license is granted, you've given consent to be tested in the field. If you flat out refuse to test, the state may immediately suspend your driving ability. Hours after you become sober, that refusal to test could affect your ability to get to work and get other things done.
In addition to license suspension, the arresting officer will complete a full, detailed report about why you were stopped. If you were weaving into different lanes or driving excessively slow or fast, that would be documented. If the car cabin reeked of liquor, that would also be in their report. A court is likely to believe that the officer's assessment that you were drunk was enough reason to make DUI charges.
Because of the reasons described here, think carefully about driving yourself home in your vehicle after having alcohol. If you made some regrettable choices and were detained, a DUI lawyer experienced in these charges can certainly advise you further.