What's the deal with this 'How to Avoid a DUI' video?
June 8, 2004 7:05 PM   Subscribe

Well this will get a lot of flack, but what's the deal with this ' How to Avoid a DUI''? It's the latest local news sensationalist reporting fad, and I'm really curious. Personally, I will never have more than one drink and drive (yeah, yeah even one is apparently bad), but I can't think of what would be on the video that's so bad. I realize that sensationalist local news reporting is just that, but they have some truth in them. I mean .08 is a .08 no matter where you are?

The news report basically said that this was a magic bullet to avoid the "casual drinker DUI", which I would assume would be the guy who's at .09 or something, not the guy who can't even talk.

So is this just sensationalism? My rational side says if there was magic words you can say to a cop or something you can do to avoid a DUI everyone would know it.

I have an annoying thing inside me that must know every aspect of my civil rights.
posted by geoff. to Law & Government (10 answers total)
Response by poster: Oh yeah, my extent with being pulled over involves a speeding ticket where the officer gave me that eye test thing and promptly gave me a ticket that was payable online.
posted by geoff. at 7:16 PM on June 8, 2004

I'm highly doubtful that there's some legal loophole which this tape reveals. It's probably just common sense advice with a pricetag wrapped around it to make the consumer feel that the advice has more merit.

Actually, now that I think about it, it might give a brief run-down of how to do a field sobriety test. I had a friend who happened to be a sheriff's deputy and he would perform an eye-tracking test on people he went drinking with to convince them to call a cab instead of driving themselves home ( he was kind of a show-off). It's possible that the tape gives you some sort of training in field sobriety testing so that you can assess yourself, or your friends, before you decide to get in a car.
posted by mmcg at 7:25 PM on June 8, 2004

In states such as illinois, one does not have to perform a field sobriety test. If you are asked to do so, just ask the officer to arrest you now, or let you go. A field sobriety test is just looking for probable cause to give you a breath test. If they need the field test, you can walk away (that or they can arrest you and any attorney worth her salt can get you off for being arrested without probable cause).
posted by jmgorman at 7:51 PM on June 8, 2004

Actually there are some tricks to get around breathalyser (up to a point).

The following is for academic purposes only. Don't drink and drive, you risk ruining other people's lives as well as your own.

A breathalyser measures the amount of alchol in your breath. The alcohol gets in your breath via the lungs. The air in your windpipe and mouth don't get (as much) alcohol in it. By taking a lot of deep breaths before you take a breathalyser test and not inhaling and exhaling to deep while actually blowing into the device, you can lower the amount it indicates.
posted by fvw at 7:54 PM on June 8, 2004

Just for the record, as far as DUI (driving under the influence) goes, .08 ain't .08. The legal limit applies only for DWI (driving while intoxicated). It is my understanding the one can receive a DUI whenever one appears to be "under the influence." Thus, one may be charged with DUI if one causes an accident or drives erratically even when below the legal limit. It seems to me more likely that one would be able to talk oneself out of a subjective DUI more easily than a DWI when faced with a rather intractable breathalyzer.

But I am not a lawyer blah blah blah. I could very well be wrong.
posted by stet at 7:58 PM on June 8, 2004

The video says Drink Smarter, Not Harder. I take it to mean that it's going to tell you how to have get a good drunk on without guzzling in excess, or how to avoid getting drunk in the first place, when to quit drinking so that you'll be okay to drive, and how to be polite to an officer while taking the FSB.

Which to me sounds like a really good trick: make a product that only assholes would purchase, and then fill it with advice that only assholes wouldn't know and won't listen to.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:00 PM on June 8, 2004

stet, DUI and DWI are just different terms used in different states (also, O[perating]UI and OWI). I don't believe any of them makes a distinction legally. The question of how intoxication si determined is the problematic part, which is where breathalyzers, field sobriety tests, and such come in, to replace the officer's judgement. If the driver objectively violates traffic rules, e.g. by traveling across the center line, or blowing a stop sign, the officer is in a much better position to apply his judgement. But the BAC (blood alcohol content) rules are there to allow sanctions even for drivers who have not obviously violated, and in some cases to enhance penalties.
posted by dhartung at 11:20 PM on June 8, 2004

Just don't drink and drive, mmm'kay?

You may also want to consult the educational tape: "Designated Drivers - Nerds that save lives"
posted by jazzkat11 at 9:11 AM on June 9, 2004

DUI and DWI may not be the correct terms for the two different things, but at least in BC there are two different categories - driving over the legal .08 limit, and driving while impaired. Being over .08 makes you automatically impaired, but if your driving is sucky and erratic, and your blood alcohol is .07, they're still going to charge you with the other.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:33 AM on June 9, 2004

Officer Tim Stone (who made this tape) tells his side of the story over at Modern Drunkard Magazine (which I love).

There's a lengthy discussion of the "MADD conspiracy". I'm not sure just how much of it I believe. Nevertheless it's interesting stuff, and worth reading.
posted by funkbrain at 12:27 PM on June 9, 2004

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