Driving while intoxicated is one of the most serious criminal offenses in the United States. In some states, repeat offenders may even be considered felons. DUIs are also extremely common, with 200,000 more cases each year than all theft and larceny offenses combined. With the frequency of cases, a number of popular misconceptions about DUIs have arisen in recent years. Here are five of the biggest DUI myths, as revealed by DUI attorneys.
1. Most people accused of DUI are guilty, and DUI cases are unwinnable.
A popular conception of law enforcement is that if a person is arrested under suspicion of a crime, they are probably guilty. Attorneys note this is a troubling misconception that discourages individuals from defending themselves against accusations. Of particular note, the data police use when arresting someone on suspicion of DUI is oftentimes incomplete. Breathalyzers and field sobriety tests are considered inaccurate measurements of impairment, and a skilled defense lawyer can attack the prosecution’s case if authorities failed to take a blood sample. There are many instances of false positives and a DUI case can be won in favor of the defendant, contrary to popular belief.
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2. You Can “Beat” a Breathalyzer Test
As previously mentioned, Breathalyzers aren’t always an accurate way to determine someone’s blood alcohol content (BAC). However, that doesn’t mean they can be “fooled” by chewing a stick of gum, swilling some mouthwash, or sucking on a penny. What makes Breathalyzers inaccurate are instances of false positives, while false negatives are rare.
It’s best to request blood work be done if you believe you’re the victim of a false positive reading.
3. You Have to Do Everything the Officer Tells You
It might seem beneficial to fully comply with a police officer’s requests, but in cases of suspected DUI or DWI, it’s best to just shut up and call a lawyer. You have rights, and you don’t have to participate in a field sobriety test if you don’t want to. After all, many of us have a hard time balancing on one foot and reciting the alphabet backwards whether we’ve been drinking or not.
4. You Shouldn’t Tell Police You’ve Had Anything to Drink
If you aren’t legally drunk, you aren’t legally drunk. It’s perfectly acceptable to tell police if you’ve had a drink, and stress the time elapsed between having that drink and getting behind the wheel. If you’re caught in a lie, you could be slapped with an obstruction of justice charge, whether you’re guilty of DUI or not.
If you feel you may be legally intoxicated when you get pulled over, it’s best not to say much at all until your lawyer arrives. Remember your Miranda rights: you have the right to remain silent, and anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
5. You Can Pass a Field Sobriety Test
Technically, there’s no such thing as “passing” a field sobriety test, because the tests are not intended to be “pass or fail”. Rather, they’re used as a way for an officer to assess your condition and determine if further testing is necessary. Many times, they’ll ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer test just to be sure. So, no matter how good you are at walking in a straight line or saying your ABCs, it doesn’t really mean much if the officer already suspects you may be intoxicated.
Remember, police can’t force motorists to take a field sobriety test, so it is entirely acceptable to respectfully decline if you’re asked to undergo one.
Amanda Bynes was arrested on September 28 after police determined she was allegedly driving under the influence of marijuana.
A police officer spotted the troubled actress after she stopped her Mercedes in the middle of an intersection in the San Fernando Valley.
Amanda Bynes had a “disheveled” appearance, according to an arrest report.
Amanda Bynes is currently on probation from a previous DUI
She was booked into jail on misdemeanor DUI by the California Highway Patrol at 4:10 a.m. on September 28 after a drug evaluator at the jail determined she was under the influence of the drug. She was released on $15,000 bail around noon later that day.
Amanda Bynes is currently on probation from a previous DUI charge stemming from an incident in April 2012 when she hit a parked car.
In February, Amanda Bynes struck a plea deal in the first case and was given three years’ probation. The fact that she was arrested again while on probation could mean major trouble for her.
William Dalambert, one of the two drivers involved in the double-decker tour bus crash in Times Square on Tuesday, was arrested and charged with DWAI.
There was no evidence that William Dalambert, of Irvington, New Jersey, had been drinking, but he was arrested after he failed a sobriety test, police said.
The results of urine and blood tests to determine whether he had used prescription or illegal drugs were pending, they said.
William Dalambert, 58, was to be arraigned on Wednesday on charges of driving while impaired. The name of his lawyer wasn’t immediately available.
One of the two drivers involved in the double-decker tour bus crash in Times Square was arrested and charged with DWAI
He was at the wheel of a Gray Line bus that crashed into another double-decker tourist bus on Tuesday before traveling onto a sidewalk at Duffy Square, the location for the TKTS discount Broadway ticket booth.
The accident sent 14 people to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
William Dalambert’s driving record includes 20 suspensions, though motor vehicle records show all of his privileges had been restored and he has a valid New Jersey license, according to state motor vehicle spokeswoman Sandy Grossman. His record includes license suspensions for non-payment of child support, uncompleted paperwork and fines on top of previous violations for not paying insurance, Sandy Grossman said.
He has a commercial license to carry passengers and endorsements to drive a number of other vehicles, including a motorcycle, a tanker, double and triple trailers and school buses, Sandy Grossman said.
Manhattan has seen a proliferation of the double-decker buses since 2005, when there were eight bus companies. Now there are 14 bus companies, operating more than 260 buses, but accidents are rare.
Professor Green has been charged with DUI in the UK.
The 30-year-old rapper was arrested in south-east London on November 3 last year by police investigating a suspected mugging.
Professor Green has been charged with DUI
Officers had been called to Tyrwhitt Road in Lewisham where they discovered a Mercedes car and a van had been involved in a crash.
Professor Green, whose real name is Stephen Manderson, was charged while answering bail on Tuesday. He is due to appear before Bromley magistrates on March 20.
Professor Green was also arrested at the end of November on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, however, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed no further action would be pursued in that matter.
Lamar Odom was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence in the early hours of Friday morning.
Lamar Odom, 33, was held at Van Nuys police station on $15,000 bail but was released from custody at 8.30 a.m.
The NBA player was pulled over just before 4 a.m. for driving too slow (50 mph) on the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley.
Lamar Odom did not immediately respond to police, passing three exits and driving erratically, TMZ reports.
Lamar Odom was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence
He failed numerous field sobriety checks but refused all chemical tests, according to police.
Leland Tang, the California Highway Patrol public information officer, told Radar Online: “Lamar Odom was driving 50 mph on the 101 freeway. He was driving in a serpentine manner which is pretty bad. That is like when the officer does a freeway break. Across all the lanes of the freeway. I’m surprised he wasn’t rear ended.”
After “failing” field sobriety tests, he was taken into custody and Leland Tang said: “He did what no one should ever do, he refused the chemical tests.
“That means that his license is revoked and Lamar could get the most powerful attorney in the world and he is still not going to have a license for a year.”
It follows weeks of troubling allegations about drug abuse and serious marriage issues with his wife of four years.
Reports claim Lamar Odom has been battling a drug addiction for two years.
Lamar Odom has also been accused of cheating with two different women while on the road as a basketball player.
Bobby Brown has checked out of rehab early after admission for alcohol treatment.
Bobby Brown, 43, has left an undisclosed facility, where he was thought to be receiving treatment for alcohol addiction problems.
It comes less than three weeks after he agreed to be admitted as part of a deal struck following his arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in March.
Bobby Brown has checked out of rehab early after admission for alcohol treatment
A source close to the family told RadarOnline: “Bobby is no longer in rehab, he decided he’s had enough treatment for his problems.
“When he first checked in, he promised his family and friends, including his New Edition band mates, that this time he was going to stay in rehab for the full treatment. That’s normally a 90-day program.
“However, after fulfilling his duties for his DUI plea deal, Bobby has decided that he doesn’t need treatment anymore.”
Bobby Brown’s family are now said to be “terrified” that he will start drinking again, and some are said to have questioned whether his intentions to give up alcohol are “genuine”.
The source added: “Bobby’s family and friends are terrified, despite his pleas that he’s sober, that he will fall off the wagon once again.
“They’re not sure if he was ever serious about conquering his demons and have voiced their concerns.
“It’s difficult to believe someone going into rehab for alcohol addiction for such a short time is genuine about giving up drinking.”
Bobby Brown’s wife Alicia Etheridge recently admitted she and his children – three-year-old Cassius from the couple’s relationship, 19-year-old Bobbi Kristina with late ex-wife Whitney Houston, and Landon, 23, La’Princia, 22, and Bobby Jr., 19, with previous partners – were “proud” of the singer for entering rehab.
Bobby Brown has pleaded not guilty to DUI and other charges stemming from his arrest last month in Los Angeles.
City News Service says an attorney entered pleas Monday on Bobby Brown’s behalf to misdemeanor counts of DUI, driving with an illegal blood-alcohol content and driving on a suspended license. He could face up to six months in jail if convicted.
Bobby Brown has pleaded not guilty to DUI and other charges stemming from his arrest last month in Los Angeles
Bobby Brown, 43, didn’t attend the Superior Court arraignment in Van Nuys.
Whitney Houston’s former husband was arrested by the California Highway Patrol on March 26.
Amanda Bynes was arrested on Friday at 3 a.m. on suspicion of DUI after she allegedly hit a sheriff’s cruiser while attempting to pass in her black BMW.
After being arrested near the intersection of Robertson and Santa Monica boulevards in West Hollywood, Amanda Bynes spent several hours locked in jail before her $5,000 bail was posted.
The former Nickelodeon star was then seen walking, clothed in the same scandalous outfit she was wearing when she allegedly crashed into a cop’s car, to the tow yard at which the black BMW she was driving was impounded.
The young actress, who was named one of Teen People’s “25 Hottest Stars Under 25″ back in 2006 and again in 2007, was listed as the fifth highest paid celebrity under the age of 21 as her earnings were reportedly $2.5 million at the time.
Amanda Bynes was arrested on Friday at 3 a.m. on suspicion of DUI
Amanda Bynes is well known for her roles in the hit television series The Amanda Show and All That, both of which were popular Nickelodeon shows in the 1990s and early 2000s.
This isn’t the first time Amanda Bynes has found herself in trouble with the law as she was allegedly pulled over just last month for talking on her cellular phone while behind the wheel. While the officer was busy writing her a ticket, she decided it would be an excellent opportunity to simply drive away. After the incident, she did make a personal appearance at the police station in order to sign the traffic ticket. At this time, there have been no additional charges filed stemming from the incident.
Amanda Bynes is currently out on bail and back on the road after what was quite possibly one of the most disastrous nights of her life.
Onyango Obama, Barack Obama’s uncle has been stopped by police on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after narrowly escaping a crash in Massachusetts.
Onyango Obama, 67, was being held by immigration officials following his arrest on last Wednesday about 20 miles west of Boston.
US president uncle is accused of ploughing through a stop sign, forcing a police officer to brake suddenly to avoid hitting his SUV.
Police said Onyango Obama slurred his speech and became argumentative when stopped.
Onyango Obama has been stopped by police on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after narrowly escaping a crash in Massachusetts
When Obama’s uncle was asked whether he wanted to make a phone call to arrange bail, he answered:
“I think I will call the White House.”
Obama’s uncle is the half-brother of the president’s late father and is originally from Kenya. Onyango Obama was being held in custody on a detainer from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which said he had an earlier deportation or removal order.
Onyango Obama pleaded not guilty in court on Friday to driving under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failure to yield the right of way.
Zeituni Onyango, the president’s aunt, made newspapers headlines in 2010 when she won the right to live in the United States despite being denied asylum by an immigration judge in 2004. President’s aunt stayed in the US illegally but was allowed to remain after the courts decided she could be in danger in Kenya.