Holiday weekends have some of the highest reported drinking and driving statistics. People are off work, celebrating and consuming alcohol, and usually traveling from point A to point B at some point. This has resulted in significantly high rates of accidents and fatalities from drunk driving. For these reasons, law enforcement has gotten very strict over the years, enforcing policies to prevent drunk driving which often include DUI checkpoints.
DUI checkpoints are usually placed where there is expected to be large numbers of drunk drivers, and any drivers found to be above the legal limit will be arrested on the spot. During the holidays, law enforcement has a no tolerance policy, so it is vital to avoid driving at all costs if you have been drinking.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
It is very easy to reach and go over a BAC of .08%, which is why it is risky to drive after drinking any amount. Each person metabolizes alcohol differently, so it is difficult to accurately determine your level based solely on the amount you have drunk. The BAC is calculated using the amount of alcohol consumed and the weight of the person. It also depends on the duration of time from your first drink to you last drink.
Typically, a man weighing around 180 pounds can consume four alcoholic drinks and will be right at or around a BAC of .08%. If a woman weighing 140 pounds drinks just three alcoholic drinks, she will be over the legal limit with a BAC of around .11%.
At a DUI checkpoint, if an officer suspects a driver is under the influence of alcohol, they will usually administer a sobriety test. The officer may check your blood alcohol content (BAC) with a breathalyzer to determine if you are over the legal limit of .08%. They may also administer a sobriety test, which requires the following:
- The officer will check the driver’s eyes by having the track an object. If the eyes drift from the object or are unsteady, this can be a sign of intoxication.
- The officer will ask the driver to stand straight while holding one leg approximately 6 inches from the ground for 30 seconds.
- The officer will ask the driver to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line for a few steps, then 180 degrees and do the same.
The last two tests are used to determine balance and steadiness, as well as if the driver can merely take direction. If a driver sways and has trouble staying balanced or can’t even complete the test, then they are most likely over the legal limit. Research states that around 83% of the people who do not pass at least two of the tests have a BAC above the legal limit.
Many people think they are okay to drive after a few drinks, but the consequences can be devastating. Even if you do not get in an accident, if you are pulled over, you will likely receive a DUI and be arrested. In the case that you do find yourself in this situation, it is vital to contact a DUI or DWI lawyer Baltimore MD trusts. You made a mistake, but you still have legal rights, and an experienced lawyer can ensure those rights are protected and honored.
Thanks to our friends and contributors at Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into DUI checkpoints.
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