For the average motorist, looking in the rearview mirror and seeing flashing lights is, at the very least, an annoyance. Once a law enforcement officer has pulled you over, the original reason for the stop, however, could turn into something more serious. The most common example of this is when a routine traffic stop becomes a driving under the influence, or DUI, investigation. What is the best way to handle this if it happens to you? Specifically, you may be wondering “If I’m pulled over by a police officer and asked if I’ve been drinking what should I say?” Unfortunately, there is no universal answer to that question; however, a better understanding of the consequences of your possible answers might help you decide how to respond.
If you have not had anything at all to drink prior to getting behind the wheel your answer is simple enough. Just say “No officer.” On the other end of the spectrum, if you are clearly intoxicated you should not be behind the wheel to begin with, and lying about it won’t help. The most difficult scenario is if you have consumed a small quantity of alcohol (a glass or two of wine, a beer or two, or a mixed drink) but you are clearly not drunk. Do you tell the truth or keep quiet? Knowing the law helps on this one. Everyone knows the legal limit in Tennessee is 0.08 percent; however, what most people don’t know is that you can be arrested and convicted for DUI if your BAC level is below 0.08 percent. Like most states, Tennessee’s DUI law has a presumptive section (0.08%) and a general “under the influence” section, meaning you can still be guilty of DUI without a BAC level above 0.08 percent. Note section (1) of Tennessee Code 55-10-401:
If you have specific question relating to a DUI stop or arrest, consult with the experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.