The Stark Realities of Driving Under the Influence

by Anica Oaks

in Driving

Post image for The Stark Realities of Driving Under the Influence

If someone has a few drinks and gets into his car, he may not think about potential consequences. He may believe he can drive home safely without any problems.

However, driving under the influence is a serious matter. The reality is that drinking does affect your ability to drive, and it can cause heavy penalties.

Here’s what you need to know before you decide to drink and drive.

How Drinking Affects Your Driving

The first reality to understand about driving under the influence is that drinking can significantly impair your driving. No one is immune to alcohol’s effects. Alcohol slows down the brain and may cause conditions like:

  • Slow reaction time
  • Reduced concentration
  • Overconfidence, leading to risk taking
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty multitasking (staying in the lane and watching traffic)

What an Officer Does

Next, you should know that if police officers have a probable cause to pull you over, they will. An officer may notice your reckless driving patterns or watch you break a traffic law. When officers pull you over, they:

  • Ask for your license and registration.
  • Look for evidence of alcohol use.
  • Ask you if you had anything to drink.

If the officers suspect you’ve been drinking, they may ask to take one or more of these tests:

  • Preliminary screening test: The officers ask you to breathe into a breath testing machine to determine the amount of alcohol in your blood (your blood alcohol level, or BAC).
  • Walking heel to toe: The officers watch for lack of balance and the inability to follow directions.
  • Horizontal gaze test: The officers ask you to look at a flashlight while moving your eyes side to side. Jerky movements in your eyes indicate drunkenness.
  • Standing on one foot and counting: The officers look for swaying and loss of balance.

How a Defense Lawyer Helps

If an officer has evidence against you, you may get a fine, have your license revoked, or even sent to jail.

Fortunately, attorney Michael Puterbaugh in Columbus or a defense lawyer in your area can help you avoid these charges. Your lawyer looks for evidence to help your case, such as that the test wasn’t accurate, the officers didn’t have probable cause to pull you over, or the officers didn’t inform you of your rights. Your lawyer takes evidence to court and defends your rights during the trial.

Don’t take DUI charges lightly; avoid drinking and driving. If you or a loved one were convicted in a DUI charge, turn to a defense lawyer for help.

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