Common Misconceptions About DWI

A DWI or DUI in a stressful and inconvenient situation. You may have some preconceived notions about the charges and the process, which may result in carelessness or recklessness and not taking the potential consequences of drinking and driving seriously. Some of these misconceptions may include:

I can’t be charged if my BAC level is under 0.08%

Don’t think that you cannot be prosecuted because your BAC level is under 0.08%. The law still has the right to charge and convict you if they can prove without a doubt that you were consuming alcohol and driving while impaired. It is not necessarily true that a BAC less than the legal limit can deter a DWI charge. The specific circumstances matter, and so does the evidence provided by the officer(s) when you are first stopped.

I can’t be charged if I’m impaired by prescription drugs

Many individuals believe that if they are found driving impaired because of taking prescription drugs, they will not be charged with DWI. They might maintain that it is not their fault, as they were merely following their doctor’s order. The unfortunate reality is that although driving while influenced by prescription medications is not classified as a crime officially, the State can assert that the medicines impaired your driving ability. Thus, they can bring DWI charges against you. 

You may offer the defense that you were prescribed these drugs by a licensed medical provider. However, such arguments can be discounted, as a large number of prescription meds can affect an individual’s ability to drive or operate machinery successfully. It says as much on the label or the patient information sheet. Also, the State may argue that you did not need to drive after consuming those drugs. Your personal decision to drive may factor into your receiving a DWI.

I can’t be charged if I’m not drunk, and I can refuse to cooperate

According to Cohen & Cohen Law Firm Motor vehicle operators tend to believe that they can’t be proven to be driving drunk if they refuse to cooperate and do the requested sobriety tests. Undoubtedly, the test results can be used against you later. Even if you refuse to cooperate, law enforcement officers can still surmise that you are drunk. They evaluate other factors into their assumption, such as how you were driving, the way you speak with them, the smell of alcohol on you, and more. Being uncooperative isn’t necessarily the best idea.

Furthermore, don’t think that explaining the entire story of the circumstances to the police will get you off the hook. Keep in mind that this may happen in the movies, but rarely occurs in the real world. You can still give the police your cooperation, but don’t try to talk your way out of charges. The Miranda warning that states anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law clearly indicates you should keep your mouth shut in such situations and contact a DWI lawyer instead. Hire the services of a skilled DWI defense lawyer in your local area to get your defense started.