Most people know the dangers of driving after drinking and that they can result in any combination of DUIs, accidents, injuries, and/or death. Today, for most urban and suburban dwellers, there are a number of alternatives to getting from point A to point B without driving, drastically reducing the potential of being charged with a Beaverton DUI. But there are plenty of misconceptions about traveling after drinking; there are also misconceptions about driving after smoking marijuana or eating marijuana-based edibles. Fortunately, our expert Portland DUI attorneys have laid out a list of DUI myths and misconceptions so you can better educate and protect yourself.
DUIs only apply to cars and trucks. If you live in or near a city, you’ve likely seen electric scooters and people whizzing by on them. Here’s the bad news, if you operate an electric scooter or bike under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any drugs, you can be pulled over and charged if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over .08, or .04 if you hold a commercial drivers license (CDL). What about regular pedal-driven bicycles, you might ask? You can, in fact, be charged with a DUI if you operate a bicycle under the influence of alcohol. Fun fact: one of the only means of transportation you can ride on after drinking without fear of a DUI is a skateboard.
You can’t get a DUI for marijuana use. Oh, yes you can. Oregon has a 5-nanogram THC limit in a driver’s blood, similar to the .08 BAC. There is no breathalyzer for marijuana, but police officers are trained to look for warning signs (the usual red eyes, giggling, etc.) when they pull you over; however, they have to have a reason to pull you over. If you swerve while driving, run a red light/stop sign, or any other normal driving infraction, they can (and likely will) pull you over and assess if you’re driving impaired from marijuana. From there, he can have you perform a field sobriety test and if you fail, you will be arrested.
“As long as my BAC is under .08 (.04 for CDL), I can’t be charged with a DUI.” This is a common misconception and one you should take extra precaution against. The fact of the law is that an officer can arrest you and charge you with a DUI if he feels that you are unable to drive competently, regardless of your BAC is under .08. In other words, you can be pulled over with a BAC of .05 and still have a DUI charge filed against you if you drove erratically/dangerously.
Finding yourself with a Beaverton DUI charge throws a wrench into life plans very quickly. Fines add up, points are added to your insurance driving up the price, and losing your license puts your morning commute to work in peril. Arming yourself with the knowledge and busting the myths of avoiding DUIs puts you at an advantage to drink responsibly and get home safely. If you, or a loved one, are facing DUI charges, or conviction, call us today to learn how you can protect yourself.