Will Chugging Alcohol While You’re Being Pulled Over Help You Avoid a DWI?

policecarlightsThere are tons of theories floating around the internet that people think can help them hack a DWI and beat a breathalyzer test. Some of these theories include sucking on a penny or using mouth wash before blowing into a breathalyzer. One of the more interesting concepts is the idea of chugging a lot of alcohol beforehand in front of a police officer.

The theory usually goes something like this: You’ve just finished a night out with friends and you have a couple drinks. An officer flashes his lights behind you and tries to pull you over. Just as you come to a stop and before the officer gets out of his car, you hop out of your car, toss your keys, open a bottle of whiskey and start chugging as much as you can before the officer can stop you. So now, there’s no way an officer can prove you were drunk while you were driving, right? Actually, you’d be very wrong.

Consequences of Chugging Alcohol While Being Pulled Over for a DWI

First, let’s indulge this fantasy and review the consequences of what would happen if this did work. On the off-chance this method somehow creates a problem for the prosecution, you will still:

  1. Put the officer who stopped you on high alert. Exiting the vehicle before being prompted to by law enforcement is viewed as a life-threatening behavior and can result in the use of force against you. If the officer believes his or her life is being threatened, you could face additional charges.
  2. Be charged for an open container violation. In Texas, this is a Class C Misdemeanor and can (or likely will at this point) result in a minimum of a $500 fine, community service and possibly additional jail time.
  3. Be charged for a public intoxication violation. In Texas, this is also a Class C Misdemeanor and can (let’s face it, probably will at this point) land you a minimum of a $500 fine, community service and possibly additional jail time.

Now that you’ve got a taste of what could still happen on the off-chance chugging alcohol worked for you to avoid a DWI, here’s a reality check. There is something called a Retrograde Extrapolation. This is a formula for calculating an estimate of what your blood alcohol content (BAC) is based on other factors, including:

  • The number of drinks you said you had
  • The number of hours after your last meal
  • Your height and weight
  • Witness estimates on what your BAC was when you were operating your vehicle

Moreover, there’s the rationale that any reasonable person who was sober while driving would never think to consume alcohol if they were getting pulled over. So, the minute you start chugging, police and a jury will likely assume you’re doing so because you’ve already been drinking.

Obviously, not drinking and driving is the best policy. But if you are pulled over for drinking and driving, make sure you do the following instead of chugging alcohol:

  • Remain polite, but do not answer questions about your night
  • Have your license and registration ready
  • Refuse a breathalyzer and field sobriety tests
  • Contact a DWI attorney immediately to start building your defense

Mike Gooslby is a criminal defense attorney that can help you build a defense if you’ve been pulled over in the Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington areas of Texas. Mike is a former prosecutor and has been helping North Texas residents since 1999.