Drunk Driving: Myths You Need to Know About

Drinking and driving is a serious subject matter that comes with severe consequences. While most states have a clearly set limit for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08, it can still be tricky to know if you’ve passed that limit, unless you own a personal breathalyzer. In Miami, if you have a BAC level between .05 and .08, a jury or judge will determine if you are intoxicated or not. Over the years, various myths about how alcohol affects your body and ways to avoid getting a DUI have rampantly spread. When it comes to alcohol, it’s important to know what information is actually just myths people buy into to convince themselves they are okay to drive.

It’s better to not submit to a breathalyzer when pulled over

            This is a pretty dangerous statement to have to float around people’s heads. Many unknowing people just accept this strategy as an absolute. DUI’s involve an area of law that has high complexity, driven by facts and jurisdiction. A vast majority of states have different laws regarding refusing a breathalyzer test. For instance, a state could have a no-refusal law, which means that when a person refuses to take a breathalyzer test, police can get a warrant that forces the driver in question to submit to a breathalyzer or even a forced blood draw. In the states of Florida and Arizona, for example, if you refuse a breathalyzer test, the result is an immediate license suspension.

Sleeping off the alcohol will automatically make you good to drive

            A vast majority of people of people believe that as soon as you get some sleep, you’ll be sober and good to drive as soon as you wake up. This could not be further from the truth. While a few hours may pass during you sleep and you aren’t indulging in even more alcohol during those hours, your body doesn't just automatically reset and guarantee you to be sober when you get up. The amount of alcohol in your bloodstream depends on three factors.

1.) The amount of alcohol you drink

2.) The period of time the alcohol is consumed

3.) The speed at which your body gets rid of alcohol.

            Picture one unit of alcohol, being a typical drink serving (one beer, mixed drink, a glass of wine). The body can typically remove about one unit per hour. Now, let's say on a late night out you’ve had six or seven average alcoholic drinks If you stop drinking around 3 in the morning and get up at 8 am, you’re going to still have a few units of alcohol in your body, which could be enough to register above the legal limit.

When you get a DUI you only receive a fine

            Obviously, DUIs are expensive and can financially ruin people. However, that’s not the only penalty a person may face when confronted with a DUI charge. In Florida, a first-offense DUI or DWI is classified as a misdemeanor, and punishable by up to six months in jail. If your blood alcohol content is particularly high, such as .15% or greater, defendants face even greater penalties. Most states will require a minimum jail sentence of at least several days for a first offense. Also, for anyone facing a DUI or DWI, they will most likely be faced with having a license suspension for a substantial period of time. A 90 day suspension is a common time period for first-time offenders. Also, Arizona are some of the toughest states when it comes to DUI laws. The fines and penalties for a DUI conviction in Arizona and a DUI conviction in Florida depend on the type of DUI the person is charged with.

Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is never a smart idea, and there are plenty of dangerous myths that spread misinformation to people. Don’t allow your life be ruined by false statements.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michelle White currently works as the Marketing & Communications specialist at Law Offices of Brian Sloan. Her experiences with DUI cases in the past have inspired her to spread awareness about DUI laws in the US.
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