Drunk driving is a major problem in the United States. In fact, more than 1.4 million people are arrested for their first DUI offense every year. But even though it’s common, being arrested for driving under the influence is an occurrence that will certainly require expert legal assistance. If you find yourself in trouble with the law as a result of suspected drunk driving, it’s important not to panic. Having an affordable legal protection plan can help you. But it’s also important to know that some things we consider to be “facts” about DUIs actually aren’t totally accurate or are complete myths. If you’re pulled over for a DUI, keep these four debunked myths in mind:
MYTH: You’re required to take field sobriety tests.
FACT: You actually aren’t required to do these. A police officer will probably make you feel like you have to take them, but in reality, that’s not true. Texas law does not require you to take these tests. You should of course cooperate with police and inform them that you will do anything you are legally required to do. But most likely, the officer will not let you know that these tests are totally voluntary.
MYTH: Breathalyzers accurate indicators of intoxication.
FACT: Their reliability has been intensely questioned. The only proven way to accurately measure BAC is with a blood test. Breathalyzers can estimate based on the amount of alcohol on your breath, but any electronic device can be inaccurate. If the breathalyzer was improperly calibrated or subject to human error, the results may not be truthful. Even factors like diet and dental work can affect these readings! You aren’t required to take this test either, though if your case goes to court, your refusal to take the test may be seen as an admission of guilt. However, they’ll have more definitive evidence of your guilt if you do take the test — even if it’s inaccurate.
MYTH: You should lie about whether you’ve been drinking.
FACT: If you’ve had some drinks, it’s better to come clean. If you’re intoxicated and lie about it, you could potentially be hit with additional charges like obstruction of justice. You certainly should not be too forthcoming and incriminate yourself, but you shouldn’t lie outright, either.
MYTH: If you plan to plead guilty, you don’t need a lawyer.
FACT: No matter how you plead, you still need legal help. The law can be extremely complicated. It’s important that you don’t try to tackle your case on your own. Doing so could cause you to receive a much harsher sentence than you would if you had help from a lawyer. A lot of the evidence that could be used against you might be able to be challenged in court. If your attorney is successful, the scope could be limited or evidence could be totally thrown out. But if the evidence against you is overwhelming and you’ve decided to plead guilty, you need to have an attorney on your side to minimize your punishment and allow you to have a bright future beyond your conviction.
Having legal insurance plans in place can help reduce the high costs of counsel and can eliminate stress during this difficult time. To find out more about the legal protection plans we offer and the types of situations that are covered by them, please contact us today.