If you visit family this Christmas, you might be worried about drinking and driving. You want to enjoy your time and share some alcoholic drinks. Yet you also know you’ll need to drive home at some point.
Hence you may consider buying a personal breathalyzer so you can measure yourself and check when you are safe to begin your return journey. Is this a good idea?
Do not rely on them
Look at it this way: If the breathalyzer says you are over the limit, then definitely do not get in your car. The problem is, you cannot rely on them to tell you when you are safe to get in the car.
Firstly, they can be inaccurate, and when the results of a wrong reading could mean a DUI charge and a criminal record, it is not a risk you can afford to take.
Secondly, even if they do give the correct readout, being under the limit does not mean you are safe to drive or won’t be charged if the police stop you. It just means you are under the point above which you will automatically get a DUI if the police stop you.
The police can charge people with drunk driving if they believe the alcohol affected their ability to drive safely. That’s a subjective call with a lot of scope for interpretation, so it is best not to risk putting yourself in that situation. Any amount of alcohol will reduce your ability to drive safely and increase the chance you crash.
If you miscalculate when you are safe to drive and face a DUI charge, claiming you were under the limit on your breathalyzer won’t get you off. Seek legal help to determine what arguments might help you beat the charges.