The Most Common Mistake a Driver Makes When Stopped for a DUI

There is one common mistake most of my clients seem to make – talking to the police officer.  

The truth is STFU (Shut the f*** up)—as the young people say—is a great philosophy when speaking to a law enforcement official. However, that is easier said than done.  

When it comes to a suspected DUI stop, the officer often asks the driver “Have you been drinking tonight? Unfortunately, “I had a couple of drinks a couple of hours ago” is a common response. 

Not only is the person making this answer up to “distance” themselves from the drinking and trying to stay general enough that they do not feel like they are lying, but they are also inherently admitting to consuming alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel. 

The main problem is the phrase “a couple of hours ago.” The consensus in the scientific community is that the average person has completely absorbed all the alcohol that they consumed 90 minutes (about 1 and a half hours) prior. This means if you had your last drink “a couple of hours ago”—let us say 120 minutes (about 2 hours)—then you are now in the eliminating phase of alcohol absorption, in which your blood alcohol content (BAC) is going down.  

If your BAC is going down, then when you eventually give your blood or breath later to the district attorney (DA), and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing officer will be able to argue that your blood alcohol was higher when you were driving than when the result was obtained.  

For instance, you are stopped by the police at 1:30 AM and you tell the officer you had your last drink at 12:01 AM. You take a blood test at 2:30 AM and the result is a .13 percent BAC. The DA and the DMV will make the argument that your BAC at the time of driving was above .13 percent.  

The generally accepted amount being eliminated per hour is .015. So, for every hour that has passed, add .015 to the BAC result obtained. So, going back to the example above, the DA/DMV would argue you were about a .145 BAC an hour before the test was taken (.13 plus .015 from formula). However, without any drink pattern, or drink time, we could have easily argued that you were below a .08 BAC at the time of driving (1:30 AM) and had risen to a .13 at 2:30 AM.  

In general, it all boils down to the equation: STFU = good. We will explain in detail, how this all works, and how if you cannot STFU, then the truth may be better than a lie. 

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Rancho Cucamonga, call The Law Offices of Kirk Tarman & Associates at (909) 658-7341 or fill out our online contact form to request an initial consultation. Our firm is available 24/7 to protect your rights and freedom! We serve clients in San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties. 

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