Actually, yes, that’s correct. It is not illegal to drink and then drive as long as you are not intoxicated while you are behind the wheel.
Think about the following possible scenario…
John is out to dinner with some friends. He has two beers in the span of an hour along with a full meal. Although alcohol affects everybody differently, John was not intoxicated at this time. John has to get home soon, but before his friends let him go, he takes a shot of whiskey. He lives 5 minutes from the restaurant. He jumps in the car and heads home completely forgetting about a broken headlight from following a truck too close this morning. He meets a cop who immediately pulls him over – only 5 minutes after taking that whiskey shot. John was not swerving or showing any other signs of intoxication. But, when the officer comes to the door, there is no hiding the alcohol odor from his breath. John knows that he just had a shot and is afraid of blowing in a portable breath test. He is arrested and finally blows in the station – now 35 minutes later. Unfortunately, he blows a .09 – just over the legal limit.
Was John guilty of a DWI? No. This is called a rising blood alcohol level. At the time he was driving, John was not legally intoxicated. The alcohol had not had enough time to hit his system and substantially effect his reactions, motor skills and judgment. His body was on its way to being intoxicated, but he was not legally intoxicated while behind the wheel. However, by the time he took a breath test, the alcohol had started to take effect.
This is actually a very good case for an attorney, but it would be one that many accused would simply plead guilty to on their own and live with the consequences. Don’t let something like this happen to you!
Call 870.405.1620 to speak with Justin.