Maybe you knew you cut it too close to the red light when you went through that last intersection, or maybe you really did roll through a stop sign. Either way, you weren’t happy that you got pulled over – but you never dreamed you’d end up in handcuffs and charged with a DUI.
If you weren’t actually drunk, how can you be charged with driving under the influence? Here’s how it can happen:
You’d been drinking, even if you weren’t legally drunk
There’s a common misconception that you must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher to get a DUI charge, but that’s not so. That 0.08% BAC just means that someone meets the “per se” threshold beyond which they are automatically assumed to be too impaired to drive.
You can blow a 0.05% (or even less) and still wind up arrested because the officer takes into account other indications that you’re dangerously impaired, such as slurred speech or those traffic mistakes you just made.
You were under the influence of some kind of drug
Another big misconception is that you can only get into trouble for driving while under the influence of illegal drugs. That often causes drivers to admit to an officer that they may have been weaving in traffic or making other mistakes because their cold medicine affected them too strongly – and they’re shocked when they’re promptly arrested.
Any drug (or combination of drugs) that makes you too woozy to drive is enough to warrant a DUI charge, whether you bought it over the counter in a drug store or got it with a prescription.
If you’ve been hit with a surprise DUI charge, don’t lose hope. Instead, find out more about what options are available.