As you may have read in the first part of this series, there are some common myths and misconceptions surrounding DUIs, not only in Colorado, but nationwide. Understanding more about how these myths and misconceptions may impact you is an important part of making smart driving choices and ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the DUI process.
Breathalyzers are Always Accurate
Every experienced DUI attorney knows that this is not automatically true. Like any piece of equipment, a breathalyzer can malfunction. It must be calibrated and tested regularly according to state law. Failure to do so can invalidate the breathalyzer results, and therefore invalidate the use of it as evidence against you. An experienced DUI attorney knows where to look and what to look for to ensure that the breathalyzer used in your case is in line with regulations and provided an accurate reading. The timing of a breathalyzer test can also be extremely important. If too much time passes between your detention by law enforcement and the actual test, then it is possible that the breathalyzer results are higher than they would have been had immediate testing occurred.
Honesty is the Best Policy
While true in many important situations in life, it may not be the best advice when it comes to DUIs. It is never a good idea to lie to police officers, but letting them know you have had one or two drinks, especially if you know that you have had several more than that, is not going to get you off the hook. For DUIs, the best advice is to say nothing at all. Much like simply refusing roadside sobriety testing, you do not have to answer an officer’s questions and can tell them, politely, that you are exercising your right not to answer. The more information you provide, no matter how innocent the information may seem, the more likely you are to be helping law enforcement build a case against you.
Sleeping it Off Makes You Sober
It is commonly thought that having one drink per hour or simply waiting to drive for one hour for each drink you have consumed will help you sober up. This is not universally true, especially since everyone’s body processes alcohol differently. If you begin your evening with three or four shots of alcohol and then pace yourself with a drink each of the following hours, it could take a little while for the initial alcohol to even hit your system. That means it could take a while for your body to process that alcohol, and a while often means more than just an hour, especially considering the various alcohol content of different types of drinks.
You Must be Driving Your Car to Get a DUI
This is false. You do not have to be physically driving your car to get a DUI. If an officer witnesses you driving and suspects you are driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, they can still charge you with a DUI even if you have stopped driving by the time they get to you. That means simply making it to your driveway is not enough. In fact, being in your car even without the engine running can sometimes be enough for you to get a DUI. You do not have to be driving a car to get a DUI, either. You could be on a bicycle or in a boat. DUIs apply to vehicles, regardless of the type of vehicle in question. Operating any vehicle – yes, even a bicycle – while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is extremely dangerous for you and others on the road, on the sidewalk, or in the water.
Any Attorney can Handle a DUI
The only safe driving is sober driving. However, everyone makes mistakes. There are also other circumstances in which an individual can be charged with a DUI when not under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. That is why it is so important to make sure you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who focuses on DUIs. The Tiftickjian Law Firm understands that each DUI is different, even if they share some common factors. They also understand the nuances of Colorado’s DUI laws and the science behind proving DUI charges. If you are facing DUI, DWAI, or DUID charges in Colorado, then you may be facing some serious consequences. Contact the Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more information about these charges as well as what options might be available to you in your defense.