You may not consider yourself a heavy drinker, but you do enjoy drinking a beer or two, or sipping on an alcoholic beverage while out with friends. You understand the consequences that drinking and driving can have, and you would never put yourself in a situation where your actions could harm another person. As a result, you want to keep your blood alcohol concentration low.
Drinking responsibly does not mean not drinking at all. You can take various actions to ensure that you do not have too much or find yourself in a situation where your BAC has reached a point that makes it dangerous to drive.
Though your friends may encourage you to drink more while you are out or want you to participate in drinking games at a party, those are risky behaviors to consent to. Though your friends may mean you no harm in encouraging you to drink – and only want you to have a good time – it is important to remember that you are in control of how much you drink. Additionally, drinking games can seem fun, but they can quickly lead to you drinking more than you intended.
If you feel like you have hit your limit, it is important to give yourself some time before jumping behind the wheel of your vehicle. Your BAC level can continue to rise even after you have stopped drinking, so though you may believe you are good to drive, your BAC may have risen to an illegal level.
Facing a DUI
Unfortunately, even if you do your best to avoid reaching or exceeding the legal BAC limit, you could still end up under suspicion of DUI. An officer may stop your vehicle for an unrelated traffic violation, but if he or she smells alcohol or thinks you appear intoxicated, your routine traffic stop could turn into a DUI investigation.
An officer may have you perform a breath test, and even if your BAC is below the legal limit, the machine could come back with a high level due to a variety of factors that affect its reading. These machines are notoriously unreliable, but a high reading could still give an officer probable cause to place you under arrest.
Defending against charges
It is not unheard of for sober drivers to face charges for DUI. The tests officers use, from breath tests to field sobriety tests, are questionable and often subjective, so you could end up having to defend against charges even though your abilities were not impaired. If this happens to you, remember that you can seek help with this ordeal from an experienced New Jersey defense attorney.