The police go to great lengths, rightly, to prevent intoxicated drivers from thinking it's okay to hit the road when they're under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You may be surprised to learn, however, just how many scenarios in which a DUI charge can be filed against a motorist.
Just Sitting in the Car
It might seem logical after you've been drinking to want to sit or sleep in your car to let the effects wear off. Unfortunately for you, this is not how law enforcement sees it. If you're in a position to drive an operable vehicle, you can be asked to participate in a field sobriety test. That's how it works, even if you were sleeping in the car and didn't have the keys in the ignition. As far as the law is concerned, a DUI is chargeable if there's even a chance the vehicle could be driven off by an impaired driver in the near future.
You're Not Intoxicated
There are two ways this one can happen. The first is a scenario involving a problem called auto-brewery syndrome. Individuals with this disorder have gut bacteria that produce high levels of alcohol that their bodies actually get used to. Auto-brewery defenses have been mounted by folks who were 100% sure they had not ingested any alcohol the day before a traffic stop. It's a very medically specific defense, and you should only consider it if you're absolutely sure you haven't consumed any alcohol.
The second scenario arises when an officer believes that, in their judgment, the person must be intoxicated, but the field sobriety test is missing something. Essentially, it's a loophole that allows the cops to bust a clearly intoxicated person even if the breathalyzer test comes up with nothing but zeros on the readout. The police will then need to take the person for booking at a police station, obtain a blood sample, and send the sample out for testing for drugs that the initial tests are likely to miss.
Not in a Car
Another odd scenario where a DUI can be filed is when a person isn't in a car but is still using some means of transportation. In some states, this can include riding a bike or a horse. While going on foot avoids a DUI, be aware that the police can still file charges for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
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