You Can Be DUII When You Don’t Realize It

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Did you know you can be DUII below .08?

I believe it is important that you know that .08 is a chemical standard for DUII, but it is not the only standard for a DUII citation or conviction. If you are affected to a perceptible degree by the substances or combination of substances in your body and you drive a vehicle on premises open to the public you could be cited and convicted of DUII. You could blow less than .08 and still be guilty of DUII.

Being “affected to a perceptible degree” is a very low standard. A little slurred speech; a slight wobble in your walk; clumsy getting your license out of your wallet; difficulty putting your key in the door or ignition; weaving in your lane while driving; too fast or too slow when driving; any physical manifestation of being affected by alcohol or other substances is “perceptible.”

One 11 oz. beer usually does not affect anyone to a perceptible degree; but if you are that person to whom alcohol has a disproportionate affect, then don’t drive. Two beers and you are on the edge of being affected; your speech might be slightly off; you might stumble over a door sill that you would ordinarily step over, etc., be careful. Three beers and it is my opinion that you are probably in more trouble than you think. Simply do not drive. If you feel buzzed DO NOT DRIVE.

If are pulled over I would suggest that you do NOT do the field sobriety tests; but that you do blow into the intoxilyzer after the officer has arrested you and taken you to the station. Here is why: If you don’t blow into the intoxilyzer your license will be suspended for one year and you will have another citation for failure to blow. Besides, we are assuming you have only had one or two beers (really only one or two 11 oz beers) and the results of the intoxilyzer should be less than .08.

As for the field sobriety tests, there is currently no legal obligation to do field sobriety tests and no penalty if you don’t do them. If you have only had one or two beers but you think you might be affected to a PERCEPTIBLE degree, don’t do the field sobriety tests. The officer is trained to scrutinize your field sobriety tests closely for physical signs of being affected to a perceptible degree. So don’t give the officer that opportunity or information by performing the field sobriety tests. JUST SAY NO.

The officer is then left with no information from tests designed to flush out if you are affected by alcohol and if the intoxilyzer is less than .08, you will probably be released and told to go home. You might have to walk or call a taxi or friend, but that is much cheaper than a DUII conviction. Maybe you will still get cited, but your defense is stronger as the officer and the State has less to work with and with an intoxilyzer result less than .08 it may be dismissed or a jury could find you not guilty.

Best advice: DO NOT DRIVE if you have any alcohol or have taken any medications that warn about driving. A designated driver or a taxi is a beautiful thing.

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