Oh that dreaded acronym! DUI, or driving under the influence, could cost you $5,000 or more in fines and court fees by the time it’s all said and done, not to mention jail time. The simple solution is to not drink and drive, ever. However there are a host of myths and urban legends surrounding DUI’s. We want to help sort out fact from fiction. So hear they are, DUI Facts.
1.) Sucking on a penny will help you pass a breathalyzer: DUI Fiction! This rumor has been around for decades, and it’s a total myth. Putting a penny in your mouth will not lower your BAC (blood alcohol content) in the slightest. Don’t even bother.
2.) Most people who get DUI’s are repeat offenders: DUI Fact! People who get a DUI have driven under the influence 80 times before they get caught. 80 TIMES! Even after they get caught, ½ of DUI offenders continue to drive on a suspended license. Talk about pushing your luck!
3.) Field sobriety tests are an accurate way to identify drunk drivers: DUI Fiction! A study by Clemson University has recently revealed that officers using field sobriety tests only accurately identify drunk drivers about 50% of the time!
4.) The problem of drunk driving is getting worse: DUI Fiction! Actually, the number of people who get DUI’s has gone down in recent years. Drunk driving fatalities have decreased by almost 65% since we first started recording them in the 80’s.
5.) Evan if a man and woman consume the same amount of alcohol, the woman will have a higher BAC: DUI Fact! Men generally weigh more than woman, so they can drink the same amount and have a lower BAC. To reach a BAC level of .08 g/dL, a man weighing approximately 170 pounds would need to consume four standard drinks in one hour on an empty stomach. A woman weighing about 140 pounds would need to consume three drinks in one hour.
6.) If you get a DUI, you are an alcoholic: DUI Fiction! Not all, or even most people who get DUI’s are alcoholics, but some of them are. Alcoholism is determined by the compulsive need to drink despite negative consequences. So if someone keeps drinking heavily, even after a DUI, they may be an alcoholic.
7.) Time is the only way to lower your BAC: DUI Fact! Many people think that drinking coffee or eating food can sober you up after you’ve been drinking. The truth is, caffeine does nothing to lower your blood alcohol content, and eating food after you have been drinking does not help you metabolize it more quickly. Time is the only way to sober up. It takes about one hour for every drink you’ve consumed.
8.) Breathalyzers are always accurate: DUI Fiction! The reading on a breathalyzer can vary up to 0.01 g/dl in any direction. Breathalyzers actually don’t measure blood alcohol content directly, they measure the alcohol on your breath and attempt to estimate your BAC. Only a blood test can give a truly accurate reading of blood alcohol level.