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Do I Have to Be Drunk to Get a DUI?

Posted on : December 16, 2020, By:  J Brian Kelley

If you get behind the wheel of a car after having a few drinks, you know that you’re taking a significant risk of either being pulled over by a police officer or causing a devastating accident. But did you know that you don’t have to be intoxicated for an officer to arrest and charge you? 

You could face penalties for drinking and driving in Mississippi under the following circumstances, even if you hadn’t consumed any alcoholic beverages before driving:  

You Took a Field Sobriety Test and Failed 

Field sobriety tests are rarely passed, even by individuals who are completely sober. If you submitted to a roadside sobriety test and failed, the officer may be able to use this to suggest you were impaired even if your breathalyzer test was negative. 

You Were Under the Influence of Drugs vs. Alcohol

The police officer who stopped you may believe that you are impaired by drugs instead of alcohol if you passed the breathlyzer test you were issued. If they continue to press the issue of you being intoxicated, they may ask questions about any illegal drugs you may have taken or request information about your medical history and prescription medication. 

By law, you do not have to answer any of these questions and doing so may unintentionally give the officer evidence to use against you. 

The Officer Found You Sleeping In Your Vehicle

Many people use their vehicles to camp out after a night of drinking when it’s not safe for them to drive home. They assume as long as they’re not actually operating their vehicle, that they can’t be charged with drinking and driving. However, this isn’t necessarily true. If you are in your vehicle and have possession of your keys, the police consider this to be enough evidence to warrant your arrest. 

Avoid sleeping in your car after drinking if you can. It’s better to crash at a friend’s or get another ride home and come back to retrieve your car in the morning. 

How to Get Support After a DUI Arrest 

The most important thing you can do to protect your future and your legal rights is to reach out to an experienced DUI lawyer who can help defend you. Time is of the essence; it’s critical that you act as quickly as possible to secure legal representation.  Starkville DUI lawyer J. Brian Kelley at (662) 324-3476 for your consultation.

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