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  DUI - Driving under the influence, Know the real life facts

Driving under the influence Truths and Common DUI Myths

Various propaganda resources would have you believe that Indiana and America have a DUI problem. They spin tales of doom and paint a completely unrealistic picture regarding the number of accidents and fatalities occurring due to drunk drivers on our roads.

To be sure, anybody who has lost a loved one in an auto accident can certainly say and find agreement with most logical humans that they have experienced a tragic loss.

Unfortunately, the doomsayers express moral outrage if the accident in which a person was killed involved drinking, even if the consumption of alcohol had nothing to do with the cause of the accident, even if a dangerous drunk driver was not involved, but simply the presence of alcohol was part of the scenario.

This in itself is a tragic turn. It demeans the loss of those families who put a loved one to their final rest in all other kinds of accidents regardless of who was at fault or what circumstances were involved.

Sadly, many people who have experienced a loss in a fatal auto accident where alcohol was involved are led to believe they are entitled to a special kind of grief. They are also shaped to support the notion that punishment and vengeance on the individual, as well as the group, representing responsibility for that loss should be pursued at an ongoing, ever more stringent level regardless of the global facts involved in the issue.

This ideal of vengeance regarding drinking drivers is today reaching toward the peak of frenzy as more and more resources, more and more unforgiving punishments, and more and more constitutionally suffocating laws are put in place to satisfy a nearly unquenchable thirst for getting even and ultimately, enacting a new prohibition in our nation.

An ever-widening net has been cast to apprehend and punish all drinking drivers at any and all levels as payback for the transgressions of the excruciatingly miniscule few.

  Common DUI Myths

We frequently hear that drunk drivers "cause 50% of all highway fatalities." This falls into the category of "tell a big enough lie long enough and loud enough and people will believe it."

The truth is closer to 10% of all highway fatalities are CAUSED by drunk drivers. This isn't good, but let's at least put the issue in perspective. Our government and certain self serving "non-profit" organizations have exaggerated this problem beyond any sense of reality to promote an agenda that eliminates basic individual rights, undermines our system of due process and heaps onerous penalties on people who have not injured anyone and may not have met any reasonable standard of "impairment."

So where do the numbers that we hear being repeated time after time come from? The "government speak" term is "alcohol-related." This term was created to deliberately mislead and confuse the general public about the magnitude of the drunk-driving problem. When you hear some "expert" state that 40 or 50 percent of all fatal accidents are "alcohol related," the intention is to make you believe that drunk drivers are responsible for causing all these fatalities. This is pure propaganda.

The federal government defines an alcohol-related fatal traffic accident as an accident where someone died and a person involved in the accident had some measurable amount of alcohol in his or her system. For example, a sober driver hits a pedestrian who has been drinking, even modestly. That's considered an alcohol-related accident. A sober driver rear-ends a driver that has had something to drink. That's considered an alcohol-related accident. A man has a drink before committing suicide in his vehicle. That's an alcohol-related accident. A driver has a single drink and is involved in a fatal accident that he did not cause. That's considered an alcohol-related accident. Do these sound like "drunk-driver-caused" accidents to you? That's what the government and the anti-drinking organizations would like you to believe.

In all motor vehicle accidents, where a driver is given a traffic ticket, or is arrested, only 7% involve an alcohol-related violation. This number is far more indicative of the "drunk driver" problem.

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  Deception And Propaganda

Twenty years of self-serving "studies," public service advertisements, victim testimonials and political pandering have completely confused and deceived the American public on the subject of drinking and driving, including the 70 to 80 percent of the adult population that drinks beverages containing alcohol. Here are just a few of the lies that have taken on the impression of "truths."

Myth: Even having one drink greatly increases the likelihood of being in an accident.

TRUTH: Drivers with low blood alcohol content are no more likely to be in an accident than drivers who have had nothing to drink.

Myth: Blood alcohol content is a reliable indicator of driver impairment.

TRUTH: Persons who regularly consume alcoholic beverages are typically less impaired at a given BAC than someone who only drinks infrequently.

Myth: Breathalyzers are (1) a reliable and consistent indicator of Blood Alcohol Content, and (2) Blood Alcohol Content is a reliable and consistent indicator of driver impairment.

TRUTH: Breath alcohol content is highly inconsistent as a measure of blood alcohol content from person to person and situation to situation. Levels of actual impairment at low to modest BAC levels are highly variable between individuals and are also affected by a wide range of common factors.

Myth: An average size man or woman can consume three, four, or even five drinks in an hour and not exceed the BAC threshold for a DWI violation.

TRUTH: The BAC will increase in your system for anywhere between one-half hour and three hours after you have stopped drinking, even while the level of impairment may be declining. Most women who have three or more drinks in an hour, or men who have four or more drinks in an hour will exceed the legal BAC limit for DWI for an extended period of time after they have ceased drinking. (In situations where food is being consumed during the period of drinking, the BAC will continue to elevate for up to six hours after the last drink.)

Myth: Lowering the legal BAC limit for DWI will get the "drunks" off the road.

TRUTH: People at .1 or .08 are not automatically "drunks" and they are not the people who should be targeted for DWI enforcement. The average DWI violator is arrested with a BAC of .15 to .17 percent. Even in countries with extremely low legal BAC limits (e.g. Sweden at .02), the average DWI arrest involves a BAC of at least .15 percent.

Myth: Lowering the BAC to .08 % will reduce alcohol-related accidents.

TRUTH: Extremely low BAC standards do cause moderate responsible persons to avoid drinking and driving, and as a result there are fewer alcohol-related accidents because there are fewer people driving with some level of alcohol in their systems. However, because alcohol at low BAC concentrations is typically NOT the CAUSE of the accident, what we have is a commensurate increase in non-alcohol-related accidents. In other words, there are the same number of accidents, with a transfer of the alcohol-related to the non-alcohol related categories.

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