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snopes
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Comment: This is cut from an e-mail forwarded to me... wanted to see if
this is works/has happened:

-----------------------------------

Hey, I thought you guys would get a kick out of this. My friends brother
was coming home from the bar two nights ago, after having a few beers
(more than enough to put him over the legal limit). He must have been
swerving because a police car saw him and pulled him over.

What he did next is classic. While the cop was in the car behind him, he
took the keys out, held them up and dropped them so the cop could see that
they were out of the ignition. Then he took a bottle of vodka that he had
in his back seat, opened it, and took three huge gulps in plain sight of
the cop.

The came up running up to the car, but there was nothing he could do. He
gave him an open alcohol ticket and that was it. He couldn't even test
him for driving while intoxicated. The guy called his friend to come and
give him a ride home, and got his car the next day. Saved himself a lot
of money.

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Filliam H. Muffman
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Oh yeh. That's how I get out of ALL my DUIs.

Seriously-if there is a suspicion of DUI it's going to hurt just as much as an actual offense. If yr in a car with readily available booze that's the same as if you had a BAC of .3 and were out for a leisurely auto tour.
By this logic I can shoot up my heroin stash as soon as I'm pulled over and get charged with reckless driving instead of felony possession.

Brilliant!

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Michael Cole
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Wouldn't work in Australia - if he is in the driver's seat, then he would be considered as being in control of the vehicle - he gets a ticket.

There was a case here where a guy was sleeping in his car (driver's seat) in a pub carpark, and was charged with being drunk in charge of a vehicle - unfortunately I cannot find a cite.

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MarkTwainFan
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Cops are always harassing alcoholics. It's not right.

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Be good and you will be lonesome. -MT

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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Evidence of bad driving, coupled with other behavior, could result in a DUI arrest and conviction. He would certainly be arrested.

Pogue

--------------------
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Errata
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There tend to be some intentionally loosely defined driving laws that give cops plenty of leeway to make judgement calls. And no judge would come down in your favor if you did this.
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Jason Threadslayer
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I saw this in an episode of Law and Order or something like that. A drunk gets into a wreck and calls his attorney who advises him to openly drink heavily in order to provide reasonable doubt for a jury trial ("I was so shocked that I started to chug a bottle of rum which is why my BAC was twice the legal limit.").

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Esprise Me
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waffles and vodka...mmmmm

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Esprise Me
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This was also recommended as a last resort if you're drunk AND driving with an open container anyway when you get pulled over by The Bad Girl's Guide to the Open Road, a hilarious if minimally useful guidebook on road-tripping.

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"If God wrote it, the grammar must be infallible. Perhaps it is we who are mistaken." -MapleLeaf

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Jacob's Child
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quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:
I saw this in an episode of Law and Order or something like that. A drunk gets into a wreck and calls his attorney who advises him to openly drink heavily in order to provide reasonable doubt for a jury trial ("I was so shocked that I started to chug a bottle of rum which is why my BAC was twice the legal limit.").

I remember seeing this in an episode of Law & Order as well. The writers frequently base their episodes on real life incidents, so it's possible someone actually did this.

Judy

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p-man
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I saw this in National Lampoon back in the early eighties. Other ways of supposedly beating DUI were eating match heads or raw spaghetti-os. I think the story was "The Utterly Monstrous and Mind-roasting Summer of OC and Stiggs."

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dewey
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I actually know some who did this. He had pulled over to the side and another car hit his. When the cops showed up he took a big swig out of a bottle to cover up the fact that he had been drinking already.

Not quite the same but it worked. It was, however, 40 years ago when attitudes were more casual about drinking and driving.

dewey

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robbiev - singin' off key
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Cole:
Wouldn't work in Australia - if he is in the driver's seat, then he would be considered as being in control of the vehicle - he gets a ticket.

There was a case here where a guy was sleeping in his car (driver's seat) in a pub carpark, and was charged with being drunk in charge of a vehicle - unfortunately I cannot find a cite.

I have a friend that this happened to in U.S. He was waiting for another friend to come out of a fast food place and fell asleep at the wheel (the car was turned off).

A police officer pulled up and since he was the only one in the car and drunk, he got a ticket for either an open container or just drunk in public (not the same as DUI, techincally, at least at that time). I think he got out of it when he went to court, though.

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Troberg
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The effectiveness of this probably varies a lot depending on where you are. Here in Sweden, we have no law against open bottles in the car, but have a zero tolerance against driving while drunk.

The courts still put quite high requirements on evidence, so if you stop the engine, step out of the car, then take a good swag of alcohol, you would probably get away with it. You would probably still get arrested, you would probably have to defend yourself in court, but you would probably get away with it.

--------------------
/Troberg

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BringTheNoise
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Hey, I thought you guys would get a kick out of this...

Woo-hoo! A man got round the system and was not punished for committing a criminal offence and putting himself and others at risk!!!

Oh, wait, that's a BAD thing. [Roll Eyes]

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Communication Attempt
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Oh yeah,also when you shoot someone just throw the gun away,then they can't convict you of murder anymore!

--------------------
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The fun thing about standards is that they come in so many varieties.

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Floater
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:

The courts still put quite high requirements on evidence, so if you stop the engine, step out of the car, then take a good swag of alcohol, you would probably get away with it. You would probably still get arrested, you would probably have to defend yourself in court, but you would probably get away with it.

Not always. There was a case a number of years ago when a car driver had lost control of his vehicle and ended up hanging upside down in his safety belt. When help arrived he was reeking like a distillery and the alcohol content in his blood was way over the legal limit. His explanation was that he had been so shocked by the crash that he, while waiting for assistance, hanging upside down, had emptied a full bottle of punsch. He even showed that he could do it (for those who don't know what it is, Swedish punsch is a sickeningly sweet beverage that is almost impossible to drink in large quantities). The court, however, was not duly impressed and found him guilty of DUI.

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Dark Blue
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I've seen plenty of people convicted of DUI who tried this. It's used because it may cause the jury to have resonalble doubt as to whether or not the person was impaired while driving or afterwards, but expert witnesses on the prosecutions side can usually explain the BAC, time drinks were consumed, how much was consumed etc. and provide evidence to show what the BAC was at the time of the accident. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. One thing I have learned is that if they drive DUI once, I can usually count on them to do so again. They won't always be able to get off.

DB

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I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Not always. There was a case a number of years ago when a car driver had lost control of his vehicle and ended up hanging upside down in his safety belt. When help arrived he was reeking like a distillery and the alcohol content in his blood was way over the legal limit. His explanation was that he had been so shocked by the crash that he, while waiting for assistance, hanging upside down, had emptied a full bottle of punsch. He even showed that he could do it (for those who don't know what it is, Swedish punsch is a sickeningly sweet beverage that is almost impossible to drink in large quantities). The court, however, was not duly impressed and found him guilty of DUI.
My guess is that there where special circumstances. My money would be on either of these alternatives:

* Prior convictions of DUI.
* He was stuck in such a way that he could easily have got unstuck if he was sober. If he was sober when he crashed, why would he remain upside down while drinking if he did not have to?

I'm not saying that it is right that drunk drivers get away with it, just that we can't sacrifice the quality of the legal system to get them.

--------------------
/Troberg

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Thunderchild
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Might work-trouble is that it pisses the police off.
You're guaranteed to get pulled over every time you drive from that point on.

And you definately wouldn't get away with it in the U.K

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Kathy B
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Old joke, usually told at the expense of one ethnic group or another:

Two cars collide. Drivers get out, shaken, but otherwise OK. Driver A pulls out a flask of brandy and offers it to Driver B. "Here, I'll bet you can use this right now." Driver B thanks him, takes a swig, and hands the flask back, saying "What about you?" "Oh," replies Driver A. "I think I 'll wait until after the police get here."

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J Caldwell
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Comment: This is cut from an e-mail forwarded to me... wanted to see if
this is works/has happened:

-----------------------------------

Hey, I thought you guys would get a kick out of this. My friends brother
was coming home from the bar two nights ago, after having a few beers
(more than enough to put him over the legal limit). He must have been
swerving because a police car saw him and pulled him over.

What he did next is classic. While the cop was in the car behind him, he
took the keys out, held them up and dropped them so the cop could see that
they were out of the ignition. Then he took a bottle of vodka that he had
in his back seat, opened it, and took three huge gulps in plain sight of
the cop.

The came up running up to the car, but there was nothing he could do. He
gave him an open alcohol ticket and that was it. He couldn't even test
him for driving while intoxicated. The guy called his friend to come and
give him a ride home, and got his car the next day. Saved himself a lot
of money.

The problem with this is that they can still administer the field DUI tests that can be taped on their dash camera. As it takes time for the alcohol to get absorbed into the blood stream, they can also do BAC tests (blood, breatalizer, etc.) shortly after that to help the prosocuters case. However, at least with the Texas DPS, arresting and charging someone with DUI is at the discretion of the officer. They recently had a city council man (not sure if that was his title, but he was a local politican) pulled over by DPS and was blew over the legal limit on the breatalizer, yet the trooper let him go with either no citation or with only a minor citation, but no DUI charges. (This was just outside of San Antonio (I belive Medina county) and the dash cam tape made it onto the local news channels.)
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diddy
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I'mm betting that in several states that you cannot drink in a motor vehichle (after drinking) anyway regardless if the engine is on or not. I think it would have to be intent. So even if you turned your engine off and the cop watched you, he would just pull you over a minute later and then arrest you with even stronger evidence.

Anyway, remember that the cop has allready witnessed you doing something that would convinvce him/her to pull you over in the first place. If allready knows your drunk and wants to give you the test, the fact that they pulled you over in teh first place is bad enough to probably convinve him to do a sobriety test.

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W.W.F.S.M.D?
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Troberg
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Disclaimer: Everything below is according to Swedish law.

What the cop thinks does not matter at all. Only the court can decide who is guilty. The only test that holds up in court is the blood test, and by the time that is administered, the alcohol would reach the blood stream, thus making the test worthless.

I would still recommend getting out of the car immediately, before the cop walks over, then take a big gulp of alcohol to make sure it is done in plain view and outside the vehicle.

There is also another way of handling the situation. In most respects, your vehicle is considered the same as your home. This means that you can just refuse to open the door or window, as they will need a search warrant to demand that you let them in or leave the vehicle, a warrant that will take some time to get and give you time to sober up.

You can also slow them down even further by demanding that they show some ID, then use your mobile phone to phone the police station to verify that they are real policemen.

I've used this tactic when they pissed me off by asking "Is it really your car?" in a sarcastic way, even though they had seen my drivers license and could clearly read the plates on the car. The implication was that I could not afford such a car, something which definately is not their business. Took half an hour, me inside a nice warm car, them in the rain getting really pissed off. Of course, there was nothing they could do, I was only helping them. Pretending to be a policeman is a serious crime, so by checking their ID I made sure that everything was nice and legal. They were clearly angry as hell, but had to remain polite since I never did anything wrong. Loads of fun!

But of course, the sane advice is to take a taxi after you've had a drink.

--------------------
/Troberg

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Aptenodytes_Forsteriis
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quote:
There is also another way of handling the situation. In most respects, your vehicle is considered the same as your home. This means that you can just refuse to open the door or window, as they will need a search warrant to demand that you let them in or leave the vehicle, a warrant that will take some time to get and give you time to sober up.

edited to add actual message (it has been a long day)
Troberg I saw your disclaimer but wanted to emphasize the risk.

DO NOT TRY THIS IN THE US!!!!!!!! Your car sure as hell ain't your castle in the landd of the free and this would constitute obstruction of justice and impeding official business. You would likely get jail time.

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
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A little clarification:

Whether the cops can search parts of your car is controlled by state constitutional law in the U.S.

In both state and Federal law there is a doctrine known as "plain sight" which says it doesn't matter whether the place being searched is constitutionally protected, if the object being seized is in plain sight, the constitutional ban on unreasonable searches and seizures has not been violated. So, if the cop can see the open bottle through the window of your car, it doesn't matter that you didn't give him permission to search your car.

Seaboe

NOTE: Free legal advise is worth only what you pay for it.

SM

ET correct grammar

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Aptenodytes_Forsteriis
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quote:
Originally posted by Seaboo Muffinchucker:
A little clarification:

Whether the cops can search parts of your car is controlled by state constitutional law in the U.S.

In both state and Federal law there is a doctrine known as "plain sight" which says it doesn't matter whether the place being searched is constitutionally protected, if the object being seized is in plain sight, the constitutional ban on unreasonable searches and seizures has not been violated. So, if the cop can see the open bottle through the window of your car, it doesn't matter that you didn't give him permission to search your car.

Seaboe

NOTE: Free legal advise is worth only what you pay for it.

SM

ET correct grammar

The big problem is that the Cops can order you to exit the vehicle and you cannot refuse. If you refuse to cooperate they can charge you with obstruction and if you refuse to leave the car they can probably make resisting arrest stick. The car search rules are secondary as far as Trobergs original post.

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Ulkomaalainen
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
Disclaimer: Everything below is according to Swedish law.
You can also slow them down even further by demanding that they show some ID, then use your mobile phone to phone the police station to verify that they are real policemen.

I've used this tactic when they pissed me off by asking "Is it really your car?" in a sarcastic way, even though they had seen my drivers license and could clearly read the plates on the car. The implication was that I could not afford such a car, something which definately is not their business. Took half an hour, me inside a nice warm car, them in the rain getting really pissed off. Of course, there was nothing they could do, I was only helping them. Pretending to be a policeman is a serious crime, so by checking their ID I made sure that everything was nice and legal. They were clearly angry as hell, but had to remain polite since I never did anything wrong. Loads of fun!

Okay, I read your disclaimer, I still fell like adding a thing or two, but adding a disclaimer as well: first, it's Germany, then, I've had some basic legal training but am not a lawyer, so this is general stuff. Some German lawyer may want to add to this or completely call BS:

This would not work in Germany. First, cars are not holy here. Proper police or customs officers may search your car, without a written permit. Second, police may always enter even flats/houses without a written permit if there is no time for it, so if people are endangered, or if you seem to destroy evidence - the latter would be the case if you're sobering up. Third: you may only get on the nerves of the police in a reasonable way, just like the other way round. So if you pulled this stunt over here, it is very likely that you used a deliberate stalling technique just to annoy, and this may help you in the actual event, but it may be costly afterwards.

One thing that makes police people very pissy is a know-it-all "I know my rights" who first does only know his rights but not his limitations, second, not even the rights correctly, and third is just annoying. And, btw, policemen can get on your nerves really fast, too, without crossing any lines.

Ulko "beware of dogs and police" maalainen

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Movie characters never make typing mistakes.

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Dark Blue
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Here in AZ, if people refures the blood test, we can get a search warrant and take the blood by force. Takes about 15 minutes. Certainly not enought time for you to sober up.

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I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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robbiev - singin' off key
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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Blue:
Here in AZ, if people refures the blood test, we can get a search warrant and take the blood by force. Takes about 15 minutes. Certainly not enought time for you to sober up.

The laws have changed here in TN, but I think the law now reads if you refuse to take a breath test, your license can be automatically suspended for up to a year. I don't think they can force you to take the test, but I think they can arrest you for refusing to.

A friend of mine (who is a paramedic) told me that they (paramedics) are not allowed to say over the radio that a person appears to be intoxicated (they have some code for it instead), but a police officer can say it because police have the authority to "decide" if you appear to be.

Of course, some argue that having your license suspended is better than the automatic jail term (whatever length, I don't remember right of hand) and license suspension for DUI.

--------------------
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Dark Blue
The First USA Noel


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quote:
The laws have changed here in TN, but I think the law now reads if you refuse to take a breath test, your license can be automatically suspended for up to a year. I don't think they can force you to take the test, but I think they can arrest you for refusing to.
Oh if you refuse to take the tests (breath and blood....and sometimes urine) here you still loose your license for a year (2 years if you have a previous refusal). IF you refuse though we can force the blood and urine at least by getting a search warrant. Havn't figured out how to force someone to breath in the intoxilyzer, but we can strap someone into a restraint chair to draw the blood, and get a catheter to get urine. If you take the test and it shows BAC .08 or greater you loose your license for 90 days. Regardless if you consent or refuse you still get charged with DUI and providing you are found guilty recieve all the usual sanctions and sentence of such.

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I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

Posts: 675 | From: Arizona | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Loyhargil
We Three Blings


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You lose your license for refusing a test in Kansas, too.

I would never try this. A fearless prosecutor isn't going to back down from a swig of alcohol at the scene.

This is how it goes in Kansas, at least, and I know a lot of states are tougher than we are in their testing criteria.

Like has been pointed out above, most police cars are equipped with cameras now. You're going to be recorded taking a swig.

The law enforcement training manuals set out some pretty stiff criteria. It's not totally dependend on the BAC to get you. Besides the potential indicators from your driving itself, if you fail enough points on the step and turn, the Horizontal Gas Nystagmus, and other simple coordination tests, you're still potentially skunked. (Admittedly, HGN isn't always admittable in Kansas in every court, but why take the chance of making yourself the test case that ultimately lets the test in as evidence?)

Plus, residual mouth alcohol evaporates after about 15 minutes. They WILL watch you for those 15 minutes. They test your deep lung air at the stop itself after the mouth alcohol evaporates, and if it's far enough over the limit, it's going to be hard to argue you got drunk off what you drank after the stop. This only shows enough to get you arrested. Then there's more...

THEN they take you to the station, watch you like a hawk for another 20 minutes, and administer an itoxilyzer, a completely separate test. This is the one that nails you. And if it's significantly over the limit, you're going to have the same problem. Did you really have enough in that short amount of time to merit that result?

Frankly, my office has prosecuted cases without Intoxilyzer results before. The Intoxilyzer may have problems, but if the field testing and video are damning enough, you ultimately don't even need it.

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Bender: Oh cruel fate, to be thusly boned. Ask not for whom the bone bones, it bones for thee.

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I'm Dreaming of a White Canvas
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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It's not totally dependend on the BAC to get you.

Besides the potential indicators from your driving itself, if you fail enough points on the step and turn, the Horizontal Gas Nystagmus, and other simple coordination tests, you're still potentially skunked.

Frankly, my office has prosecuted cases without Intoxilyzer results before. The Intoxilyzer may have problems, but if the field testing and video are damning enough, you ultimately don't even need it.


Does this mean that even if I don't drink, my balance and coordination problems could get me arrested? They don't affect my driving ability.

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"You hold the Prince so I can duct tape his bottom to keep the bugs out." - My Mom

Posts: 193 | From: The Fabulous Finger Lakes, New York | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Loyhargil
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by White_Canvas:
It's not totally dependend on the BAC to get you.

Besides the potential indicators from your driving itself, if you fail enough points on the step and turn, the Horizontal Gas Nystagmus, and other simple coordination tests, you're still potentially skunked.

Frankly, my office has prosecuted cases without Intoxilyzer results before. The Intoxilyzer may have problems, but if the field testing and video are damning enough, you ultimately don't even need it.


Does this mean that even if I don't drink, my balance and coordination problems could get me arrested? They don't affect my driving ability.

Nah.

If you haven't been drinking, you're not going to smell like alcohol, you aren't as likely to have bloodshot eyes, you'll be more able to do two tasks at the same time (that's why they usually ask you for license AND registration, or license then registration before you're done with license), you won't get as confused by out-or-order questions (state the alphabet starting at "n"), you won't likely score 4 out of 6 on the HGN, etc.

(While HGN is can be controversial, it's the exceedingly rare person that can score as many as 4 out of 6 without being impared by either drugs or alcohol. That test alone has, by some reports, a 75% success rate, and combined with other field sobriety tests, a 96% success rate. Unlike other tests, this one can't be practiced or faked, although some natural nystagmus and a few rare outside factors can affect it.)

It's not one or two factors, it's a whole combination of factors present that will get you arrested. So while it's possible balance and coordination problems could get you, most likely you'd also have to had someone spill beer on you, be crappy at the alphabet, not be able to multi-task, and have been up 24 hours straight to still get arrested.

If coordination were the only criteria, I woulda been sent away for life long ago.

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Bender: Oh cruel fate, to be thusly boned. Ask not for whom the bone bones, it bones for thee.

Posts: 1170 | From: Iowa | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
I'm Dreaming of a White Canvas
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Thank you, I will no longer fear Kansas!

White"well maybe those tornadoes"Canvas

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"You hold the Prince so I can duct tape his bottom to keep the bugs out." - My Mom

Posts: 193 | From: The Fabulous Finger Lakes, New York | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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