When it comes to drinking and driving, you’ve probably heard some stories that sound more like fiction than truth. Maybe you’ve heard that you can fool a breathalyzer by keeping a penny in your mouth during the test, or that you can’t get a DUI if you’re caught sleeping in your parked car. Are these facts, or are you misinformed if you take them as the truth? We explore some of the more common myths about DUIs in Illinois in today’s blog.
6 Common Misconceptions About DUIs In Illinois
Here’s a quick look at some of the myths we’ve heard about, and a quick explanation as to why they aren’t true.
- The Penny In The Mouth Trick – An old wives tale suggests that sticking a penny in your mouth will throw off the breathalyzer and either report your BAC as unreadable or as a zero. Unfortunately, this just simply isn’t true. Breathalyzers rely on a fuel cell that reacts with the alcohol in your breath on a sensor to indicate how much alcohol is present. The penny’s presence will not have any effect on this reaction.
- Sleeping It Off – If you have too many at the bar and decide you’re just going to sleep it off in your car, you’re protected from a DUI, right? Maybe not. Illinois DUI law states that you can earn a DUI as long as you are in “physical control” of the vehicle, and being in the driver’s seat can constitute physical control. Other factors will play a role in the case, like where the keys are, if the car was moved and where you were located when police found you in the vehicle. Simply put, don’t just assume you’re safe to sleep it off in your car.
- Safe At Home – If you drove home drunk, you might assume that you’re safe once you reach your garage. Again, this isn’t a given. If you were reported to police or you encounter a security guard at your apartment complex, they could still connect your BAC and your return trip home. If you exhibit all the signs of being impaired, and you were seen driving home or admit to recently driving, you can still be booked for DUI.
- Coffee Or Food Can Sober You Up – While it’s true that drinking on a full stomach can slow the metabolization of alcohol by your body compared to drinking on an empty stomach, there’s nothing you can eat or drink to lower your BAC once you’re drunk. Once you’re above the legal limit, no amount of tacos or coffee will help to reduce your BAC. Only time can get you back below the limit.
- You Can Only Get A DUI In A Car – You might think that DUIs only apply to cars, trucks and boats, but that’s not the case. A number of different motor vehicles qualify for the state’s DUI laws. Vehicles like ATVs, motorcycles, mopeds, lawnmowers, go karts, jet-skis and snowmobiles are all subject to DUI laws, so don’t think you’re immune if you’re on a recreational vehicle.
- DUI Charges Are Impossible To Beat – Our work as criminal defense attorneys will tell you that this statement is also a myth. Challenging a DUI is no easy task, but it’s certainly not impossible. If you have an experienced attorney in your corner and you follow their instructions, you can put yourself in the best position to beat a DUI charge. Considering the severe penalties that often accompany a DUI, it’s clear that you should put serious consideration into how you challenge the charges. If you do so with Brett and the team at Appelman & Lloyd by your side, we can help show you that DUI charges aren’t impossible to beat.