Getting a DUI is a stressful and overwhelming experience. On top of being arrested and charged, you have to deal with the realities of having a criminal record, potentially facing a courtroom trial, and harsh penalties, such as exorbitant fines or lengthy jail time. But there are a lot of misconceptions about getting a DUI, what it involves, and how it can eventually play out. To help dispel these myths, three of the more common ones are debunked in detail below.
What People Get Wrong About DUIs
1. A Failed Breathalyzer Means My Case Is Doomed
Breathalyzers—as well as most types of sobriety testing—are not always reliable. They give police officers a number that indicates your breath or blood alcohol content; but, at lower and mid-range levels, alcohol affects everyone in different ways, some more profoundly than others. So, just because you failed your breathalyzer doesn't mean there’s no chance to raise doubt in a judge or jury.
2. I Can't Be Charged With a DUI If I'm Not Drunk
Again, alcohol impacts every individual differently. You may have five drinks and feel stone-cold sober. Someone else can pass out from that same amount. If you are charged, it's simply because you gave some indication—usually through your behavior or the results of your sobriety testing—that you were under the influence. In other words, you don't have to feel drunk in the slightest to be charged with (or even convicted of) a DUI.
3. There Are Ways to Beat Sobriety Tests or an Officer's Suspicions
There are no proven ways to throw a sobriety test or sway the opinions of a police officer who has concluded you are under the influence. Some people think that sucking a penny or chewing minty gum will trick a breathalyzer, but this is just a prevalent misconception. So common, in fact, that an arresting officer will probably include in their police report that you tried the old penny-sucking or gum-chewing trick. And it failed.
If you are facing DUI or DWI charges, trust the Law Office of Philip Shanahan to fight for your rights and best interests. For over two decades, this Anchorage-based lawyer has been serving clients throughout Alaska. Call (907) 334-3339 to schedule a consultation today, or reach out to his firm online.