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4 mistakes to avoid during a traffic stop

The police may have reasonable suspicion to perform a traffic stop on a suspected drunk driver. 

If this happens to you, there are a few things that could lead to an OVI charge or criminal charge. Here’s what you should know:

1. Doing a field sobriety test

To evaluate whether you are safe to drive and if you’ve consumed alcohol, then the police may ask you to do a field sobriety test. A field sobriety test is a physical examination. For example, you may be asked to walk in a straight line, stand on one leg or spell the alphabet backward. However, you can refuse a field sobriety test without penalties, which may benefit you.

2. Refusing a chemical test

Alternatively, you may be asked to do a chemical breath test. Chemical breath tests evaluate the blood alcohol content (BAC) in your body. In other words, it tracks how much alcohol you’ve consumed. Under implied consent laws, you must take a chemical test or you could face severe penalties. 

3. Using a penny to trick a chemical test

One common myth about breath tests is that they’re easily deceivable. One such way people believe that this can be done is by placing a penny in their mouth before taking a chemical test. In theory, the penny would create issues for the chemical test. But, in practice, it only causes people to taste copper on their tongues. 

4. Using mouthwash to hide the smell of alcohol

While mouthwash or breath mints can hide the smell of alcohol from the police, it could only make matters worse. If you use mouthwash or breath mints, there may be trace amounts of alcohol in these products that increase a BAC reading. You may unintentionally raise your BAC reading above the legal limit.

If you’re facing an OVI charge or criminal charge, you may need to seek legal guidance when understanding your options for defense.