Protect Your Rights In A DUI Situation With The Right Mindset

Alcohol affects everyone differently, and is processed out of the body at different rates. If you have the type of body chemistry and functions that can take a glass of champagne and hold onto noticeable alcohol in your system the next day, you could be the victim of unfair legal punishment. Driving Under Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) laws can be complex--both for defense and prosecution--but you can make your situation better by avoiding a few common self-blame pitfalls while still staying respectful to authorities who can affect your freedom.

Here are a few concepts and techniques to keep you safe and with a stronger legal posture after a drink lingers too long.

Be Courteous, But Not Agreeable

Many people confuse being respectful, courteous, or even friendly with being agreeable. During a DUI situation, it is not your responsibility to meet law enforcement halfway on any theories, opinions, or statements that could incriminate you.

If at all possible, you shouldn't have much to say during a police interaction. You always have the right to remain silent, but it's understandable that some people have anxiety issues that make silence difficult. Complying with a police officer means answering questions, but they don't have to incriminate you.

For example, what happens when a police officer asks if you've been drinking? What does that mean? An hour ago? 12 hours ago? Yesterday? Ever in your life? The answer "no" can either be a lie, or a complete truth based on what the officer is thinking, but you can't know what they're thinking. Their statements at the stop could just be to get the right answers for an efficient arrest.

Give your name and date of birth when requested, but keep an eye out for small talk. The questions could be leading you to a trap, such as asking what your favorite kind of drink is, or if you enjoy a certain kind of drink after work. Any statements can be used to build a working theory, so tread carefully.

When Is It Safe To Drive After Drinking?

One dangerous rule of thumb for drinking is the 45 minute rule. This rule says that after a "drink", you have to wait 45 minutes for sobriety. If you have another drink before that 45 minutes is up, you have to wait another 45 minutes and add the remaining time to that.

The problem is that the rule doesn't explain what kind of drink. Is it a pint of beer? A shot of tequila? A rum and cola? A pint of shots? They all have different alcohol content and can affect you in different ways. The ways that different alcohols affect different people is its own giant discussion, but the important part is that the rule won't save you during a DUI arrest.

There is no official law across all of the United States that incorporates this rule. It can be used as an argument point if you can stick to a story stating that you stopped drinking at a certain point, but it can also be used against you. What if you're lying? How can you prove that you weren't?

The rule is, instead, more about personal health and possible ammunition for lawyers. Keep that rule discussion out of your mouth when around police, and contact a DUI lawyer, such as from Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC., to figure out your state's rules to understand how your slow alcohol processing should be handled during a police stop.