DUI Suspect Gives Cop the World’s Worst Answer
Police have a variety of ways to spot drunk driving, and on this night the officer saw something that tripped alarms: a car driving without headlights. The driver proceeded to more or less go through the catalog of indicators, turning right on a left signal and then nearly hitting the median.
When the car pulled into a lot the officer asked, “How much have you had to drink?”
“Not enough,” was the answer.
That’s plenty of cause for a breathalyzer (as was the smell of alcohol), which turned up a reading of .146 percent. Busted. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit nationwide is .08.
It is very hard not to self-incriminate when you are stopped justifiably for drunk driving. Impairment is usually apparent to everyone. Certainly bloodshot eyes and slurred speech are giveaways to anyone. Police are attuned to the changes that alcohol makes in one’s behavior. For instance, it reduces inhibitions, so a drunk driver might start being over-chatty (“you police do such a great job…”), or he or she might talk too loudly or softly. Often DUI suspects repeat things or speak too slowly. All of those indicators give an officer enough cause to request a breath test.
After the breathalyzer, a police officer will probably do the field sobriety test, a set of exercises designed to test the coordination and concentration. They are not considered conclusive, but give the officer cause to bring you down to the station for an evidentiary-quality breath or blood test.
Of course, if you give an answer like the Fayetteville driver did, it’s pretty well over.
And by the way, he was wrong. Anything to drink before driving is too much.