Elmer H. Young - Georgia DUI Attorney

Free Strategy Session Augusta and Macon: 706-284-4380 Savannah, Statesboro and Effingham: 912-236-4384

Avoid These Common Mistakes

The first common mistake committed by the average responsible drinking driver is "not knowing before blowing!" I say this not to give the impression that just because you know that your BAC (Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration) is below the stated "legal" limit of .08 gms that you won't be arrested, because you probably will. I say this so that if you know enough about your own capacity to imbibe, you can predict your BAC during your drinking session. By doing this when you decide to stop drinking and leave and/or drive to your next destination you can understand the risks to yourself and others on the roadways you choose to drive. This page has some valuable information for the drinking driver. Don't guess. Take the time to "know, before you blow." It also helps to know what the police and DUI task force officers are watching out for. Click here for more information.

The next common error committed by the average driver is not preparing for the evening out. Where are you planning to go and what are you planning to do once you get there? Is it a business meeting with an open bar before a brief presentation and then a quick trip home for dinner? How much will you drink? Over what period of time? Are you being served measured drinks, or is some amateur bartender pouring freely? All of these factors affect your future. Eating the bar snacks won't do much of anything to reduce your BAC, regardless of what you have been told. Eating Mexican-type, spicy, gas-producing (methane) foods have been reported as even ENHANCING the breath tests across the country.

A serious common mistake is agreeing to blow into a little breath alcohol measuring device the officer displays to you. As the officer asks you to blow into this device, called by many different names but known generally as "breathalyzers," he or she will say it is "just to make sure you are all right to drive." This little device may come in different shapes and sizes, but it they are all about the size of a pack of cigarettes.

Because of the many problems with this technology, most all of these devices are unreliable to the point that the numerical result observable to the officer is inadmissible in court. Don't let that fool you into actually blowing into it, however. The officer will use the results for his own decision to arrest and he can testify that the results of the test were positive or negative for alcohol. It will become cumulative evidence with other personal manifestations, field sobriety test, and driving observations, so don't help the officer convict you. Besides these tests are all voluntary. Just say no, politely.

Another serious error very commonly committed by the drinking driver is agreeing to submit to the so-called Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.

A serious, serious error could be committed by not carrying and using the Driver's Rights Statement. You may download or print this statement for your personal use, but it may not be sold or copies made for the use of others. You should consult your lawyer prior to using this or any statement intended to be given to a law enforcement officer as such statements can affect your legal rights.

One of the most common errors made is thinking or believing that you will be able to talk your way out of a DUI arrest. As I watch videos of clients' arrests, I see time and time again drivers pleading with an officer to give them a break or trying to convince them to let the driver go on home to a house that only a block away! Most of these statements are going to be evidence of the driver's knowledge of guilt and used against them at trial.