5 DUI Myths

If you have been pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), you may have many preconceived notions and other misconceptions about what to expect next. 

Fortunately, when you have a dedicated DUI attorney at the law firm of John M. Totten, P.C. representing you, you can better understand your rights, how to exercise them, and how to best handle yourself when you are stopped and accused of drunk driving.

Here are five of the most common DUI myths and the truths behind them.

 

  • You Can Only Get Arrested if You’re Caught Drunk Driving

 

Many people are quick to assume that they can only be arrested for drunk driving if they are caught in the act of drunk driving. But this is not the case. In fact, there are many instances in which you could get arrested for a DUI, even if the police did not catch you driving drunk. 

For example, if you encountered police near your stopped vehicle, and police had probable cause to believe that you were operating the vehicle while under the influence, then you may find yourself facing Alabama DUI charges.

 

  • Breathalyzer Tests Are Accurate

 

With the increasing popularity of true crime and similar television programming, many viewers are under the impression that breathalyzer tests are always accurate. 

On the contrary, it is quite common for police to incorrectly administer breathalyzer tests, and for the tests themselves to be defective or malfunctioning. If this happens when you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you could face the harsh penalties associated with a conviction.

 

  • You Have to Submit to a Blood Alcohol Test

 

When you have been stopped for drunk driving, police will likely request that you submit to chemical testing that can determine what your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels were at the time of your stop. While Alabama law does have implied consent, you do have the legal right to refuse to submit to a blood-alcohol test. 

Although you might think that avoiding chemical BAC testing is going to help your case, this is also a myth. Implied consent means that all drivers have given their implied consent to chemical testing before getting behind the wheel. If you refuse consent, you can face a minimum ninety-day license suspension, or up to one year, or if you have prior DUI convictions on your criminal record.

 

  • You Have to Agree to a Field Sobriety Test

 

Police will use many tactics in order to find out the details of criminal situations and build their case against you. Often, people who have been stopped for suspicions of drunk driving will believe that they must give their consent to field sobriety testing. 

Some examples of field sobriety tests could include the nystagmus eye test or the Rhomberg test. Fortunately, Alabama law does not require you to submit to field sobriety testing. You can politely refuse your consent and instead request your criminal defense attorney. 

 

  • You Will Spend Time in Jail for a DUI 

 

Although DUI convictions carry harsh penalties in the state of Alabama, jail time is not necessarily a requirement if you are convicted. In some cases, you may instead benefit from entering into a drug or alcohol treatment program or completing community service and may therefore be less likely to re-offend. 

Furthermore, if the state’s case against you is weak, your aggressive DUI attorney may be able to get your charges dropped or obtain an acquittal, depending on the specific details of your case.

If you have been stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, it is important to submit to the chemical test request, work with police, remain silent, and contact your Alabama DUI attorney as soon as possible. 

Contact the law firm of John M. Totten, P.C. For a confidential case evaluation today. You can complete our convenient contact form or give our office a call at (256) 233-2025 to get started on your defense strategy.