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7 Common Myths About DUI Charges

Getting a DUI charge can be scary. It can have lifelong consequences like fines, jail time, license suspension, and higher insurance premiums. People often look for quick solutions or legal loopholes to beat a DUI charge, but many of these myths are not true.

To dispel some common myths, it's important to know that you can be charged with DUI for more than just drunk driving. Factors like prescription drugs, medical conditions, and exhaustion can also lead to a DUI arrest.

If you have been charged with drunk driving we can help. Contact Ktenas Law at (312) 800-1626 to schedule a free consultation with a Chicago DUI defense lawyer to review your case and defense options.

Your Blood Alcohol Content Has to Be 0.08 to Be Charged

Some people believe that you only need to worry about a DUI charge if your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is 0.08 or higher. This is not true.

In certain states, you can be charged with a DUI even if your blood level of alcohol is lower than 0.08 if an officer thinks you are impaired by alcohol.

In Utah, for example, the limit for driving under the influence of alcohol is even lower at 0.05. In other states, the law may require the law enforcement officer to prove impairment beyond just your BAC being above the legal limit

You Won't Get Caught If You're Driving Carefully

Some believe that driving carefully while intoxicated will prevent them from getting caught for driving under the influence. This is not true. Even if someone follows the speed limit and traffic laws, police officers can still charge them with a DUI if they notice any signs of drug or alcoholic drink impairment.

a man pulled over by police for drinking and driving

In certain states, officers have the power to randomly stop drivers and have them take a breathalyzer test. They can pull private and commercial drivers over and test you even if you haven't broken any laws.

Police Must Catch You Driving to Make a DUI Arrest

A common urban myth is that it is necessary to witness a person impaired driving for a DUI arrest. However, a person can be arrested for driving while under the effects of alcohol or drugs without being seen driving.

For example, a person sleeping in their parked car could be charged with DUI if they are in the driver's seat and in possession of the car key. In most states, a DUI arrest can be made based on "probable cause," where an officer has reason to believe a person is impaired. 

FAQ: What Should You Do After a DUI in Chicago?

Eating a Meal or Will Lower BAC Levels

Many people believe the myth that eating a meal helps in the absorption of alcohol. While it's true that food and drinks can slow down alcohol absorption, they don't reduce the presence of alcohol in your system. Metabolizing one drink takes about an hour, so waiting or eating won't lower your BAC levels.

The only way to reduce your BAC over time is to let your body naturally metabolize the alcohol. for a single drink, this can take anywhere from an hour to several hours depending on the amount consumed and a person's weight.

Gum or a Penny Can Beat a Breathalyzer

One common misconception by drunk drivers is the belief that sucking on a penny or chewing gum can "beat" a breathalyzer test. However, this is not true. A breathalyzer test measures the alcohol content in your system by analyzing the alcohol on your breath. Chewing gum or sucking on a penny will have no impact on reducing alcohol levels in your body and will not alter the results of a breathalyzer test.

a breathalyzer being held in front of glasses of alcohol

Coffee and a Cold Shower Will Sober You Up

Consuming coffee and taking a cold shower may increase alertness and potentially slightly reduce blood alcohol levels, but they will not reverse the effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Regardless of feeling more awake, alcohol still needs to be metabolized by the body over time, and no amount of coffee or cold showers can expedite this process.

You Must Submit to a Field Sobriety Test and Breathalyzer

There is a common misconception about DUI laws. It is not true that you must comply with a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer if an officer asks you to. You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer or other chemical testing.

Additionally, you are not obligated to perform physical tests such as a field sobriety test. Remember, if an officer asks you to take a breathalyzer or perform a field sobriety test, you are not legally obligated to do so.

Contact Chicago DUI Defense Today!

If you're facing a DUI criminal charge in Chicago, it's normal to have questions and worries. However, there are several false beliefs about DUIs that can cause confusion and alarm. The positive news is that skilled assistance is accessible to help with your case and safeguard your rights. Reach out to Chicago DUI Defenses experienced criminal defense lawyers today for answers and the necessary support.

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