But I Haven’t Had Anything to Drink – I’m Not Impaired!

A question that I get a lot from people (usually after I say not to take a breathalyzer) is what if I’m not drunk?  Now, the first thing you have to remember, is that you don’t have to be drunk to get convicted of drunk driving (OUI).  You simply have had to consume enough intoxicating beverage (i.e. alcohol) to impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.  If your blood alcohol level is a .08 or above, you are per se intoxicated.  Even worse, if you are under 21, and you have a .02 or above you are per se intoxicated.  Pretty scary? Careful, you could feel fine and still be legally intoxicated. If you drink a lot often, or even a few glasses of wine or a few beers on a regular basis, you could have a higher level of blood alcohol then you feel. I have met people who exist on a daily basis, legally intoxicated, it just depends on how much you drink.

That being said, now what if you really haven’t been drinking?  You’re nervous, cold, tired or simply lost, and you get pulled over by the police.  They ask you to take a breathalyzer and do field sobriety tests. A voice in your head tells you not to take any tests, but at the same time, you know that you are sober.  You also have a right to an actual blood test.  (A blood test is also a chemical test under the statute).  So tell the officer you want a blood test (politely).  The officer will take you to the station and give you the information to arrange for a blood test.  If you really haven’t been drinking, the worst thing that might happen is that your car will get towed and you’ll be out a few bucks.  The officer has probably conducted a legitimate stop – and has to cover him or herself and bring you in if he or she believes you to be under the influence.  So if you take a blood test – you both win!  Remember – be polite!

Did you ask for a blood test?  Did you not get one?  Have you been arrested for OUI? Call me to set up a consultation at 866-981-7888 or email me.

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