In an age of misinformation, it can be useful to learn about some common myths about drunk driving.
If you believe a drunk driving myth and act on it, then you could end up with serious criminal charges. Here’s what you should know:
Myth 1: Drink coffee before driving
Truth: Alcohol is a depressant and coffee is a stimulant. What this often sounds like is that coffee can negate the effects of alcohol. However, the truth is that people will likely experience the effects of alcohol and coffee simultaneously. In other words, it doesn’t reduce people’s blood alcohol content.
Myth 2: You can avoid a traffic stop by driving slowly
Truth: Driving slowly can help reduce accidents and police suspicion. But, driving slowly doesn’t mean that people are driving safely or that they’ll avoid accidents. If another driver causes an accident, the police may still suspect the victim of drinking.
Myth 3: You must answer any police questions
Truth: Answering police questions could cause legal issues. Drivers can assert their rights under the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination.
Myth 4: You can always prove sobriety with a field sobriety test
Truth: The police may ask drivers to do a standardized field sobriety test to judge drunkenness. These tests aren’t entirely accurate and are graded based on the officer’s best judgment. But an officer may misjudge someone with disabilities as a drunk driver.
Myth 5: Sucking on a penny can trick breath tests
Truth: A long-held rumor was that pennies could trick breath tests. There’s likely no science behind this belief. The most that will happen is that the driver will taste copper in their mouth.
Myth 6: Breath tests won’t detect alcohol if you use a mint
Truth: Mints and other products, such as mouthwash, perfume and gum can contain some trace amounts of alcohol, which gives them their fresh scent and taste. But the alcohol in these products can raise the breath test reading and make it seem like someone is over the legal drinking limit.
Drivers facing drunk driving charges may need to be aware of their legal rights to a strong defense.