A lot of people believe that saying you only had one drink can help you avoid getting charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI).
There are several reasons this is a bad idea:
Admitting to drinking gives the police information they did not have
The police might have suspected you had been drinking. Or maybe they had no clue but just thought they’d throw the question at you after stopping you for another unrelated infraction.
If you say you had just one drink, you’ve given the police a valid reason to proceed further and ask you to take a Breathalyzer test or perform field sobriety tests. In other words, you make it more likely they’ll end up charging you.
You’ll also make it more likely you get a criminal record as they can now justify their actions to a court. They had reason to suspect you may be over the limit or impaired because you told them you’d consumed alcohol.
One drink could mean many things
What one drink did you have? Was it a small glass of low-alcohol beer? Or a large glass of whisky poured by a generous friend? One has an alcohol concentration of under 2.5%, the other of over 40%. How much your one drink affects your blood alcohol reading depends on the percentage and volume you consumed as well as factors such as how recently you consumed it.
Being over the limits is not a prerequisite
If the police can justify you were intoxicated, that may be enough. They could base it solely on the way you drove, but backing it up with your admission to having one drink will make their case more compelling.
There are many ways to contest a DWI charge. The sooner you get legal help, the less likely you are to say something that harms your chances of acquittal.