What Can Happen When You DWI

Drunk driving safety poster. "Don't mix '...

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All sorts of things can happen when you DWI . . . you might actually kill yourself, kill somebody else or end up injuring someone for life. Of course, that’s absolute worst case scenario, but there’s no point in tip-toeing around the subject . . . . DWI is a crime – here’s what might happen to you if you are stopped and convicted of DWI.

How Drunk Do You Have To Be If You Are Driving While Intoxicated

Alcohol and drugs can both impair your judgment and make you deemed to be “unfit” to be in charge of a motor vehicle. It seriously affects your ability to drive safely and think clearly (probably why many people who have had “one too many” still think that they are capable of driving).  Most people are well over the legal limit to drive on the roads without feeling drunk or stoned. An adult who has more than .08% blood alcohol content (BAC) is considered to be over the legal limit to drive, whether they feel drunk or not. Younger drivers are permitted to have a much lower BAC before they are considered to be unfit to drive . . . around .01% or .02% depending on which state they are in.

How Will The Police Know That I’m DWI

The first thing that the police will do is to watch your driving . . . a police officer might pull you over if you are speeding, swerving, driving erratically, driving too slowly . . . . anything suspicious really. If you have a good reason for driving that way then the police will use their judgment and might send you on your way with a caution, but if you have the smell of alcohol on your breath, slur your words or appear to be unsteady then you will be suspected of DWI.

You see, slurred speech after a trip to the dentists would be okay . . . just so long as you didn’t call in at the bar on the way home.

If the police officer suspects that you are DWI then you may be asked to take part in a sobriety test. These are usually simple speech and balance tests . . . standing on one leg . . . reciting the alphabet . . . .walking in a straight line. He’ll also look into your eyes (no, he’s really not coming on to you – he’s just checking whether your pupils are enlarged or constricted, evidence that you’ve had a few drinks). If you fail the sobriety tests then there’s a good chance that you’ll be arrested or asked to take a chemical test.

Yep, fail!

The chemical test will show your BAC – blood alcohol concentration. If you have a BAC of .08% or more then you are officially DWI. This can be measured by either taking a sample of blood, urine or a breath test. Some states will give you a choice of test, others will not.

What If I Refuse To Take A Chemical Test

You can refuse to take part in a chemical test, but that certainly won’t be the end of the matter. In most states there is an “implied consent” law which means that your driver’s license will be automatically suspended if you refuse to take a chemical test for anywhere between 3 months and a year, even if you weren’t guilty of DWI.

I Was Stopped At A Roadblock And Asked To Answer Questions From A Police Officer. Can They Really Do That?

Yes. The police must either use a neutral policy at a road block (stopping every second car for example) or they can single you out if they have reason to believe that you may have broken the law . . . DWI for example.

There’s nothing like advertizing the location of the DWI checkpoint is there . . . .


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