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Norfolk DUI Charges: Common Myths

The negative implications that can affect your life following DUI charges in Norfolk, Virginia can follow you forever. It is important to have a dedicated Norfolk DUI lawyer who has experience in the local court system to provide you the greatest opportunity for success in your case. Still, there are many myths associated with DUI charges in Norfolk that you should know about before your court date.

Taking a PBT When Your BAC is Under 0.08 is No Big Deal

It is not necessarily the case that you should take a portable breath test (PBT) just because you know you are below the legal limit of 0.08 BAC. It’s important to remember that every single thing the officer is doing during a stop for a potential DUI is related to collecting enough probable cause to arrest you for a DUI. Someone who blows a 0.06 for example may still be charged with a DUI and having any amount of alcohol in your system when you blow into this PBT could be cause for an arrest if there’s other evidence present to suggest you’re impaired. The less evidence you provide to the officer, the better. The belief that you cannot be charged with a DUI if your BAC is under 0.08 is a very common Norfolk DUI myth.

Breathalyzers are Extremely Accurate and Reliable

Blood alcohol content can only be measured by a blood test. What the breathalyzer does is attempt to estimate the blood alcohol content by measuring the chemical content present in the driver’s breath. They can be fairly close but there are a lot of things that can cause them to be incorrect as well.

Officers Cannot Arrest You Unless You are Very Drunk

You do not have to be incredibly intoxicated for an officer to arrest you. Officers just need to have reasonable probable cause that someone is too impaired to drive. They don’t have to be correct, it just has to be reasonable. This isn’t a very high standard and someone could be slightly impaired while having an arrest still be reasonable and then not end up with a conviction later on because it was determined the evidence was not enough for an actual conviction.

It’s Difficult for an Officer to Tell if You’re Only Buzzed

The ability for a Norfolk police officer to discern whether or not a driver is buzzed depends on the person. Regular drinkers tend to be less impaired at the same BAC as someone who’s not a frequent drinker. It’s going to depend on what kind of person you are and what kind of drinker you are and also what kind of signs you have that show that you’ve been drinking.

Some people will get flushed while some people don’t. Other people will be stumbling much sooner than somebody else. It is really hard to determine how much you have to drink and just be buzzed before an officer definitely notices it.

You Cannot Be Arrested on Your Own Property

You can definitely be arrested if you’re in your garage or driveway in Norfolk. This depends on what happened beforehand and exactly what’s going on. If the officer saw you drive home and into your garage or driveway then they already know that you were definitely driving. They need reasonable suspicion that there’s criminal activity afoot that they witnessed in order to justify the stop. If you were swerving in the road prior to that then that’s probably enough.

Then they need probable cause for the arrest based on their findings at the stop just as they would anywhere else that wasn’t your driveway. Just because you made it home doesn’t mean you’re in a bubble where the law doesn’t matter anymore.

Other Norfolk DUI Myths

There are a substantial number of myths related to DUIs in Norfolk. People have claimed they thought that if they cooperated with the police officer, they would be better off. This is definitely not true and an experienced DUI attorney in Norfolk would advise against doing so. Anything you say or do can be used against you and that’s exactly the point of the field sobriety tests. Along those same lines, people mistakenly believe that they don’t have a choice but to submit to the tests. They do have a choice and you should choose to not take the test and to not say anything. Another myth is that the officers have to catch you driving the vehicle drunk in order to charge you. This isn’t true either. It’s possible for an officer to charge someone acting drunk with a DUI even if they’re not behind the wheel at the time as long as the officer knows that the person was recently behind the wheel.