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Keep these DUI facts in mind if a police officer pulls you over

Are you a social drinker, meaning you typically only consume alcohol on occasion, when attending social events? Perhaps you reserve your drinking habits for a more private setting, such as a chaise lounge in your own backyard. Maybe you're one of many people in Florida who completely abstain from alcohol at all times. In either of these three settings, do you know if you were to get behind the wheel to drive, you may wind up facing DUI charges?

You might be wondering how that could ever happen if you are part of the third previously mentioned group. How can someone who never consumes alcohol face DUI charges? It's because DUI stands for driving under the influence. It does not always specifically refer to alcohol. A police officer may suspect you of acting under the influence of a drug. This could involve a prescription medication, cannabis or some other substance.

More facts about DUI stops

Let's say you're hanging out in your backyard on a weekend. You drink a beer then remember that you wanted some chips to go with your supper, so you ask your spouse to watch the grill, grab your keys and head to the nearest convenience store. Everything goes as planned until you notice red and blue flashing lights in your rear view mirror. The following list includes things to remember about traffic stops and driving under the influence charges:

  • All a police officer needs to pull you over is reasonable suspicion or a witnessed violation of a traffic regulation, such as a broken tail light or missing license plate. Either of these issues, as well as a number of others, is sufficient cause to make a traffic stop. Therefore, you do not have to be sloppy drunk and veering all over the road for a DUI arrest to take place.
  • Perhaps your tires touched the center dividing line on the road a couple of times or your back tire clipped a curb on a tight bend in traffic. These minor infractions may wind up serving as evidence against you if a police officer arrests you and prosecutors charge you with DUI.
  • The one beer you had in your backyard might leave a scent of alcohol on your breath. If you wind your window down to greet the police officer and he or she gets a whiff of that, you might land yourself behind bars.
  • Other products can make it seem as though you were driving while intoxicated. For instance, if you took cold or allergy medicine that contained alcohol as an ingredient, it might cause a Breathalyzer device to register positive for alcohol. The same goes for certain types of mouthwash and other commercial products.

The bottom line is that you do not have to be a regular, heavy drinker to run into legal trouble regarding DUI. Nothing can ruin a backyard weekend barbecue like getting arrested on your way to buy some chips. If this happens, try not to panic because you might be able to rectify the situation with appropriate assistance. Many other Florida motorists who have faced similar situations got things back on track after requesting legal representation.

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