When individuals receive their driver’s licenses, they have a social contract to avoid actions that endanger the lives of others, including not driving intoxicated. There are several misconceptions surrounding DWI offenses.
Understanding the truth can help individuals make informed decisions and promote safer road behavior.
Only alcohol consumption leads to DWI
Police take DWI infractions seriously, especially since 13,384 people in 2021 died in car accidents that involved alcohol, but alcohol is not the only danger. DWI offenses are not exclusive to alcohol consumption. Driving under the influence also encompasses the use of any substance that impairs one’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.
You can only receive DWI charges if bac is over the limit
Another prevalent misconception is that a blood alcohol concentration below the legal limit means immunity from DWI charges. In reality, impairment can occur at any level, and law enforcement officers can make an arrest based on observed erratic driving behavior and other signs of impairment, even if the driver’s BAC is below the legal limit.
Refusing a breath test guarantees avoidance of charges
Some individuals believe that refusing a breath test can protect them from DWI charges. However, refusing a breath test can result in automatic penalties, such as license suspension. Additionally, refusal may not prevent an arrest if there is other evidence of impairment, such as erratic driving or failed field sobriety tests.
Only young or reckless drivers get DWI charges
The notion that only young or reckless drivers face DWI charges is misleading. People of all ages and backgrounds can find themselves charged with a DWI if they choose to operate a vehicle under the influence.
A DWI conviction can have serious repercussions, including fines, license suspension and increased insurance premiums. Moreover, it can impact employment opportunities and personal relationships.