Each of the nation’s 50 states has a blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08. Did you know as few as two drinks within an hour could put you over that legal limit? And it’s not just how much you drink; factors like gender, metabolism and overall health also influence BAC. What if you find yourself pulled over and accused of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI)? (The terminology and charges can vary by state.) What should you do?
Once you see the red and blue lights of a police vehicle, respond by pulling your car over as soon as you safely can. Keep your driver’s license in an easy-to-reach place; it’s usually the first piece of information an officer will ask to see.
Some may get upset or angry when in this situation, especially if they think they’ve done nothing wrong. But a little courtesy can go a long way and may prevent additional charges like resisting arrest.
Know Your Rights
As always, you have the right to remain silent. You also have the right to refuse to take field sobriety and roadside breath tests, though there may be repercussions. In many states, you can have your license automatically suspended if you refuse these tests.
Are You in a No Refusal Jurisdiction?
If you live in an area operating a no-refusal campaign, it may be a little trickier. A no-refusal jurisdiction generally allows police officers to obtain a warrant to draw a blood sample from drunk-driving suspects who refuse to take a breathalyzer test.
If You’re Arrested…
In the event you’re arrested, contact an attorney as soon as possible to get started on your case. It’s also wise to write down everything you remember about the arrest and the events leading up to it as soon as you’re released.