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Columbia DUI Myths

Oftentimes, DUI charges come as the result of a social gathering, so it makes sense that they are frequently a topic of conversation, which leads to many people being misinformed about the truth surrounding DUI stops, charges, and prosecutions. The following are common myths and questions surrounding DUIs, compiled as a resource to help people better understand what really happens when someone is pulled over under suspicion of driving while impaired. If you are facing DUI charges, contact our Columbia DUI lawyers today to begin your path forward.

Myth: Blood Alcohol Content is a Reliable and Consistent Indicator of Driver Impairment

Verdict: not true.

To receive a calculated BAC level, the alcohol passing through the machine is burned and generates an electric current. Such a current is measured numerically, which then provides a BAC level. With that being said, a person’s BAC level may be false as a result of minor technology interference, such as from a cellphone or a police radio.

Myth: Breathalyzers are Reliable and Consistent Indicators of Blood Alcohol Content

Verdict: not true.

If an individual has blood, vomit, or gas in their mouth at the time that the breathalyzer test is given, the results can be significantly altered. Additionally, if an individual performed an extensive workout or held their breath prior to taking the test, the calculated BAC level could be false. There are many factors that may lead to an inaccurate reading, including if the officer administers the test too early without the proper observation period, or the machine was not properly calibrated.

Myth: Officers Cannot Justify a DUI Arrest Unless You Are Really Drunk

Verdict: not true

Officers will base a DUI arrest on the smallest indication of impairment even if an individual passed the field sobriety test and was initially pulled over for equipment violations in which the officer did not observe any bad driving skills. Arresting an individual for a DUI is at the discretion of an officer, given the subjective nature of the charge.

Myth: It Is Hard For An Officer to Tell If I Am Only Buzzed

Verdict: not true

Alcohol impacts individuals differently – some people who are slightly buzzed can appear sober, pass sobriety tests, and perform the tasks asked of them. Additionally, the clues that officers will look for in terms of impairment are not the usual signs. An individual who only had one to two drinks may appear impaired in the officer’s mind and by the standards used to determine impairment.

Myth: I Can’t Be Arrested For DUI In My Own Driveway

Verdict: not true

According to prior Maryland cases, a person can be subjected to criminal administrative penalties. This is based on the theory that although the person is in his or her own driveway, at some point he or she had to maneuver the vehicle to that location while they were impaired. As such, the individual can be charged with a DUI.