Let’s get two things out of the way: First of all, everyone knows that drunk driving, or driving under the influence of any type of intoxicating substance, be it alcohol or drugs, is not a good idea. But secondly, everyone also knows that there are plenty of unforeseen circumstances involving DWI cases, and that everyone is likely to make some mistakes every now and again.
So if you find yourself pulled over on the side of road, blinded by the flashing red and blue lights, and feeling a sort of panic rising up — here are two things to keep in mind regarding the pre-DWI arrest process:
- As a rule of thumb, an average person metabolizes about one drink per hour; the important caveat here is that there are plenty of other factors that influence how quickly the body processes alcohol, too. A person’s weight, if they’ve taken any other medications prior to (or during) drinking, and even if the person hasn’t eaten much before drinking — it can all affect how quickly alcohol is absorbed, and how long the effects last.
It’s easy to think that you’ll be safe to drive, based on previous experiences where you’ve been fine, and not realize that your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level is too high. (Of course, this won’t get you off the hook for a DWI charge, but it might ease your conscience a bit).
- Second, it’s important to find out if your state permits routine sobriety DWI traffic stop checkpoints. Some states do permit these stops, which means that police officers can set up a sort of “road block” where they require each passing driver to stop momentarily, in order to interact with the driver and see if he/she has been drinking.
If you encounter one of these checkpoints, remember that it might just be a routine check, and you shouldn’t freak out about it. However, if you been drinking quite a bit and an officer sees that, remember that it’s completely legal for the cop to ask you to perform sobriety tests. In this case, the “innocent until proven guilty” phrase is used pretty loosely, but it’s still considered constitutional (in certain states).
More than anything else, if you get caught drunk driving, it’s important to remain as calm and courteous as possible. There will always be consequences for someone who caught drunk driving, but the more respect and cooperation you show, the easier the process will be (and you might even find that the punishments are less severe, too). Read this for more.