Knowing When to Handover the Keys

Car Accident Lawyer

When we get behind the wheel to operate a motor vehicle, we are expected to drive responsibly, refraining from the use of drugs or alcohol. Despite this, people still have trouble in determining when they’ve had too much to drink in order to get behind the wheel. It can be hard to hand over the keys. Alternative plans such as asking someone for a ride home, sleeping over at a friends house, staying in a hotel, or taking a cab home can sometimes be less than ideal. However, making alternative plans if you have consumed alcohol is essential to ensuring not only that you are safe on the road, but that others are as well. Additionally, nothing is worse than the inconvenience and expense you will have to face if you are charged and convicted with a DUI. DUI lawyers have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to provide more information about the consumption of alcohol, getting behind the wheel and DUIs. 

What is the impact that drinking has on drivers?

Drinking alcohol limits cognitive functioning, making it difficult for someone who has indulged to respond appropriately and make quick and solid judgement calls when faced with the unexpected. Because of this, those who get behind the wheel intoxicated, could be putting not only themselves at risk, but others on the road. Across the country there are laws in place prohibiting driving if their BAC is above .08%. Meaning, someone who gets behind the wheel of a car with a BAC over .08% is likely to be charged with a DUI if they are pulled over. 

How will I know if I have consumed too much?

Interestingly enough, people often gauge how much they’ve had to drink based upon how they are feeling. This is a dangerous way to make decisions regarding whether you should get behind the wheel. What many do not realize, is the number of beverages they should consume in order to stay below the legal limit, is far less than people believe. Take the following examples into account, bearing in mind that the body can realistically get rid of one drink per hour: 

  • A person weighing 120 pounds consumes 3 beverages, before being at .08% BAC.
  • A person weighing 160 pounds consumes 4 beverages, before being at .08% BAC.

It’s important to bear in mind that a double, or a larger glass of wine will consist of more drinks than what may be listed above. Having some awareness of what you have consumed is important. If you have consumed more alcohol than you should have, it’s essential that you find an alternative way of getting home. 

Can I get a DUI if my BAC is below .08%?

It’s important to be aware that any amount of alcohol consumption can potentially result in a DUI if you get behind the wheel and drive. Meaning, a BAC of .08% doesn’t always matter. If you are noticeably impaired, you may still obtain a DUI, even if your BAC is below the legal limit. 

What should I do if I am pulled over with a DUI?

There are a number of key steps to take if you have been pulled over under suspicion of a DUI. It’s important that you try to remain as composed and rational as possible. Do not make any sudden movements, and be polite to law enforcement. Know that you have the right to refrain from answering questions from police. Be careful in how you answer the questions that are an attempt by law enforcement to gather information, your answers could be incriminating. It’s important to be aware that if an officer asks you to endure a field sobriety test, you may decline. However, you must submit to a breathalyzer, urine or blood test if the officer has reason to do so. 

Have you recently been charged with a DUI? Chances are this can feel like a nightmare situation. The impact of a DUI charge and conviction can be incredibly shameful and impactful for the driver. Working with a DUI lawyer will be essential to ensuring that you do not receive heavier consequences than necessary. Contact a DUI attorney in Virginia as soon as possible so that they may review your case and provide you with the representation you need. 



Thanks to Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and avoiding DUI charges.