Drinking After Being Pulled Over for a DUI Charge

Police have witnessed a strange behavior when they stop some drivers under the suspicion of DUI... more drinking.

An article published in the Tampa Bay Times last week said a man who ran a red light back in 2012, crashed into and killed an innocent driver. He then proceeded to buy a 24 ounce beer from a nearby convenience store and started to chug as police investigated the crash site. By the time the police could take the beer away from him, he had already consumed some and spilled the rest.

He is not the only one to think drinking after being pulled over might get him off the hook. There was also a report of a woman on her way home from a Christmas party being stopped and suspected of driving under the influence. Before a second officer could arrive to perform a field sobriety test, she went inside her home and drank a bunch of alcohol.

From a prosecutor’s point of view, and likely from a juror’s as well, drinking immediately after the crash or after being pulled over is a dead giveaway the driver was drunk at the time of the wreck or while driving. Who would chug alcohol after causing a crash other than someone who was trying to skew the results of a breathalyzer or blood test?

Guess what… this attempt to trick the police doesn’t work anyway! Police use simple math to calculate the amount of alcohol in a DUI driver’s system at the time of the crash by taking breath or blood samples at different points in time.

Drinking a beer after a crash would not have a big enough impact on someone’s blood alcohol level to ruin any tests done by the police soon after the accident. It would take a long time and a lot of alcohol to affect the alcohol content in one’s bloodstream because it needs to be metabolized before it shows up. So, a drunk driver who tries to get out of a DUI conviction by drinking more alcohol after a wreck, but before the test, is hurting his own case and disrespecting the law.

The bigger issue here is that irresponsible people who drink and drive and then try to get out of DUIs by drinking more liquor are sadly focused on skirting their punishment. They give no consideration at all to the lives they endanger or finding a safe way home.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.
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