We’ve all heard the stories about people gaming the system to get out of DUIs, and maybe you’ve even heard about people learning how to “beat the breathalyzer.” While there are definitely some excellent ideas out there that can help you avoid a DUI, some of these myths can be dangerous and lead to poor decisions. The Lowcountry DUI lawyers from David Aylor Law Offices are to help you separate fact from fiction.
Myth #1: Chewing Mints or Gum Can Mask the Smell
False. Perhaps the most common trick is to chew breath mints or gum in order to fool a police officer. This will just turn that beer breath into a lovely schnapps odor. Plus, adding a hint of mint to your breath is not going to correct for things like failing the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Your body and movements will give you away long before the officer gets close enough to smell your breath.
Myth #2: Suck on Pennies
False. If it sounds dumb, it probably is dumb. The theory is that copper will throw off the test. Even if this were true, you’d have to be sure those are old pennies. In truth, pennies made after 1982 contain little to no copper. They are mostly zinc.
Myth #3: I’m Okay if I Stay Under .08 Percent BAC
Nope. False again. The legal limit is just the number where the law presumes you to be impaired by alcohol. If your blood-alcohol content is .08 percent or higher, you must try to disprove or rebut the presumption. But police can use other evidence to prove impairment, even if you have zero percent BAC. After all, you can be arrested for impaired driving for being on prescription medications and drugs too. None of these would give you a BAC.
Myth #4: No One Goes to Jail For DUI
False. Many people spend time in jail for DUI. In South Carolina, a first-offense DUI could carry up to a 90-day jail term. Although, it is true that few first-time, minor offenders do serious time in jail beyond a night or two in the county lockup. Second and subsequent offenses can be quite a different story. Likewise, if someone is hurt, it could be elevated to a felony. Finally, the consequences of a conviction can sometimes be worse than a jail sentence.
Myth #5: I Can’t Be Convicted If I Refuse a Breath Test
False. See Myth #3. The police don’t need your breath to convict you. They can rely on field sobriety tests, dash cam video, witnesses, and their own observations, skills, and experiences as police officers. In fact, in South Carolina, your refusal to take a breathalyzer will automatically subject you to a summary suspension of your license, and the prosecutor can use your refusal as evidence of your guilt.
The Only REAL Way to Beat a South Carolina DUI
If you really want to get out of a DUI, do not drink and drive in the first place. But if you make a mistake and get caught drinking and driving, there may be legal options for minimizing the impact it has on your life. There are sometimes options for getting the case dismissed or charges reduced, so contact an experienced DUI attorney from David Aylor Law Offices to find out your options today.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.