Facing a DUI charge can be a very sobering affair. It could lead to consequences that will follow you around for the rest of your life. Many people think they can beat DUI charges with some sort of quick fix or technicality in the law. However, these solutions are simply not true. Below are a few myths about being charged with DUI that you should know are not facts.

1. Coffee will sober you up

Drinking coffee or using another form of stimulant will not lower your blood-alcohol content level. The only thing that will lower your blood-alcohol level is not drinking at all. If you drink, wait several hours before driving so that your body can process the alcohol.

2. You have to be driving to be charged with DUI

If an officer sees that you were driving recently and you’re impaired, you could still be charged with a DUI. For instance, if you park your car, shut off the engine, get out of the car and stagger into your destination, you could still be charged with DUI.

3. You can’t be charged with DUI if you’re sitting in a parked car

If you are sitting in a parked car with the engine running, or if a police officer saw you driving, you could still be charged with DUI.

4. If you put a penny in your mouth, take a swig of mouthwash, or chew a piece of gum while you’re being pulled over, you can pass the Breathalyzer test

A cop administering a Breathalyzer test will ask you to blow deeply into the machine, not breathe a shallow breath. None of the above tricks will work.

5. Riding a bicycle under the influence is legal

Many people think that riding a bicycle to a bar or party is a way to avoid the harsh consequences of a DUI conviction. However, that is simply not true. You could be charged with biking under the influence under California Vehicle Code Section 21200.5.[i]

6. Driving a boat under the influence is legal

You want to avoid DUI charges, so you take the party to the seas. However, you could be charged with boating under the influence under Harbors and Navigation Code Section 655 (HNC 655).[ii] The code distinguishes between levels of alcohol in the blood. Generally, if you test at .08% or higher, you are considered to be under the influence.

7. You have to answer a police officer’s questions during a DUI stop

You can politely say you are not going to answer any questions and you are exercising your right to remain silent. What you say and how you say it can be used against you in court. However, you are required by law to show your driver’s license and registration to the officer who stops you.

8. You must submit to a field sobriety test when requested by a police officer

You do not have to take a field sobriety test, and you should refrain from doing so. The cop who pulls you over may try to make you think that you are required to take the test by the way he or she asks you to take it, but you are not under any legal obligation to do so.

Field sobriety tests are based on being able to perform complicated maneuvers that require coordination and dexterity that some people don’t have, no matter what physical state they’re in. Also, there are many environmental factors that can affect a person’s ability to pass such a test. Moreover, if you pass the field sobriety test, you could still be arrested for DUI. It is never a good idea to agree to submit to a field sobriety test.

9.  You can’t be charged with DUI if you’re blood-alcohol level is below .08%

You can still be charged with DUI if your blood-alcohol content level is below .08 % under California Vehicle Code Section 23152.[iii] You do not necessarily have to be at .08% to be considered “under the influence” of drugs or alcohol.

10. DUIs are impossible to beat

There are many factors that can affect the outcome of your DUI case. DUI convictions are based on evidence such as

  • Blood-alcohol tests that are sometimes improperly administered.
  • Blood-alcohol tests that could be administered using faulty equipment.
  • The presumption that the person behind the wheel was the one driving.
  • The perception of drunkenness by the police officer who submits a sworn statement.
  • The presumption that the BAC was the same when the person was driving as it was when the test was administered.

Even though a DUI charge is not impossible to beat, it’s still a very bad idea to gamble with your freedom and your future by drinking and driving..

Call Wallin & Klarich if You’ve Been Arrested for DUI

If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI, you need to speak to a Wallin & Klarich DUI  attorney immediately. We will be with you every step of the way, from the arrest through the DMV hearing and court. We have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing DUI charges. Let us help you today, too.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation.  We will get through this together.


[i] http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&division=11.&title=&part=&chapter=1.&article=4.

[ii] http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayexpandedbranch.xhtml

[iii] http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&division=11.&title=&part=&chapter=12.&article=2.

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