You may be quietly cursing your luck when you get pulled over by the police for a traffic violation, but your irritation may quickly turn to panic once you realize that the officer is asking some very probing questions. They clearly suspect that you’re a drunk driver.
What you do next could have huge consequences for your future, including whether or not you are able to successfully defend against any charges of operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) here in Ohio. No matter what happens, you never want to say anything close to the following:
“I can’t be drunk. I only had a single drink!”
This is probably almost instinctive for someone to say, especially when it’s true. The only problem is that the moment these words leave your mouth, you’ve just admitted to the officer that you have, in fact, been drinking. You don’t need to be legally drunk, with a blood alcohol content of .08 or above to get arrested for drunk driving if the officer says your driving seemed impaired.
“I guess my medication made that drink go to my head.”
This is another variation on the “I only had one drink” statement, but it’s probably even more destructive to any potential defense you might raise because now you’re admitting that you mixed alcohol with drugs. If you’re trying to gain the sympathy of the officer, this isn’t the way to go about it.
“I’m not drunk. It’s my new medication.”
This sounds like a perfectly reasonable explanation for why you fell asleep at a stop sign or were weaving around the road, but drugged driving is still drugged driving, even when the medication is legal. Instead of an escort home, you can easily find yourself in handcuffs.
“I’ll prove I’m not drunk. Just watch!”
If an officer asks you to prove that you’re sober by participating in standardized field sobriety testing, you’re only setting yourself up for failure if you agree. Those tests are very subjective and prone to problems even under ideal conditions. You’ll most likely just give the officer more ammunition to use against you and justify the demand for a breath test instead of earning your freedom.
If you’ve been charged with an OVI after a traffic stop, the wisest thing you can do is stop talking and wait until you can explore all your possible defenses.