Weird DUI: What NOT to Steal when Drinking and Driving

DUI stealingAggravating circumstances are what cause stricter penalties for a crime. For instance, in many states, when you are caught shoplifting items over a certain value, you could face a felony charge, even if it is your first offense. An innocent bar brawl that causes serious injury or death is another example. The same goes for drinking and driving. A first-offense DUI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is well above the legal limit of .08 percent could result in a felony charge. High BAC is an aggravating circumstance for a DUI. So is any other crime that occurs during the course of your DUI. Like stealing a police car.

If you’re already in trouble for drinking and driving, please keep the other crimes to a minimum.

When you are out drinking and driving, you are a big enough risk to everyone else on the roads. You could hurt yourself or any passengers. Compounding that with additional crimes will only increase what you face in court. Besides, nobody has ever written a story about the DUI driver who stole a car in a panic and drove him or herself to freedom. It just does not work like that.

All states have aggravating and mitigating circumstances that can increase or decrease penalties for DUI, respectively. Obvious crimes, like child endangerment, high BAC, or injury to others during the DUI will result in longer ignition interlock requirements, possible jail time, and additional non-DUI charges at times. Mitigating circumstances (like your BAC wasn’t quite at the legal limit, but you were still charged) could help reduce your penalties. Stealing a police car will not help your case, but it will definitely invoke the ire and frustration of your local law enforcement, as well as the judges you face throughout your court requirement.

Tattletale DUI: Should You Call the Cops on Yourself?

Tattletale DUIYou are driving down the road, minding your own business, blasting Whitesnake or some smooth jazz and bopping along, and suddenly you realize… you’re drunk. You are not only drunk, but you are drunk and driving. You are a criminal, and you are dangerous. What do you do? Do you become one of those tattletale DUI stories? Would that help your case if you have to go to court?

First, the moment you call police and tattletale DUI yourself, you will have to go to court. Courtrooms rely on facts, not self-serving behaviors during the illegal act being defended.

Second, if you are reading this while you are drinking and driving, there’s an even bigger problem to address.

Whether or not you intended to drink and drive, you are now faced with being a danger on the roads – to others and to yourself. If those blurred lines no longer make sense, or that stoplight seemed to be a lot greener than its actual red, you need to pull over. If you feel like you are a danger on the roads, you probably have already alerted some other driver on the road who has called 911 to report your erratic or dangerous driving. Despite that, you can definitely call and be that tattletale DUI we occasionally read about. You are doing us all a favor.

If you do make that call, remember that the facts of your case will determine the consequences you face. There are no mitigating circumstances in any state for being a tattletale DUI, and you will still have the same court costs and fines, community service, ignition interlock requirement, and more (depending on your circumstances) even if you rat yourself out.

Before you get into a situation where you are in the middle of a self-proclaimed DUI, remember that all you have to do to steer clear of trouble is to have a plan for a safe ride home.

Weird DUI Plea: Save the Paws!

weird DUI save the pets pawsWe hear a lot of weird for DUI stories, and a lot of weird DUI pleas (beer battered fish, anyone?). However, we do not often get a chance to see how drunk driving can subsequently affect the lives of our furry, feathered, or finned friends. With the exception of this ad, of course:

Of course, it was refreshing to see a recent editorial take on the problem of those drunk drivers who are drinking while driving. That’s a DUI so dangerous that it takes a minute to realize that people still DO drink alcohol while driving (it is technically still legal in Mississippi). Otherwise, there would be no reason to beg driving drinkers to stick with cans of beer, not bottles so that their pets’ feet were not affected when empty (and broken) containers became litter on the sidewalk.

Breathe. Dogs, litter, cars, and alcohol do not mix. You’re not crazy.

Also remember that if you drink and drive while you have a dog or other pet in the vehicle, you are endangering their life, too. Your pet, much like a young child, has no choice but to ride along with you when you are intoxicated. For their safety, if not for yours or the safety of others on the road, ditch the drinks before you drive. You could have an aggravated DUI charge that reflects animal cruelty, on top of any other drunk driving consequences, like an ignition interlock device.

When it comes to DUI and our pets, remember that we are the ones who have to make the choices. So, let’s not drink while driving, or drink and then drive, let’s not litter, or try to get drunk on goldfish. Let’s keep all of the weird DUI things to a minimum so that we can enjoy our time with our animals, not missing their happy faces.

Weird DUI: Food Excuses that Don’t Work

weird dui food excusesPeople do all sorts of interesting things to catch a little beer buzz, many of which are harmless and cannot do a thing to increase blood alcohol concentration (BAC). BAC is the measure of how intoxicated a person is and is often used by law enforcement as grounds to arrest a driver for DUI, DWI, or OWI. There is a logical connection between the terms “alcohol” and “BAC” but there is also a lot more to the kind of alcohol we consume, how it is consumed, and how that ends up impairing our driving than simple wordplay.

For instance, a weird DUI myth is that foods cooked with alcohol can actually cause impairment or drunkenness.

In most cases, the alcohol in beer-battered chicken or fish is minimal and is burned off in the frying process (high heat kills the intoxicants in alcohol), leaving just the flavor. The same can be said for foods that have liquor or wine enhanced sauces, like chicken marsala. A good rule of thumb is that foods cooked with alcohol are not intoxicating, just really yummy.

As with everything, there are always exceptions to the alcohol-in-food rule.

The heat in coffee does not kill the alcohol in an Irish coffee. The rum in rum balls or the marsala in tiramisu won’t pass the breathalyzer or ignition interlock test. Drunk driving is drunk driving, and you may not only end up with a hangover the next morning but a weird DUI story, too.

Either way that you look at it, using food as an excuse for your drunk driving is… well, inexcusable. Either you are trying to get out of a DUI by blaming the dinner you just ate, or you are actually impaired from your food choices. If you have been drinking or eating alcohol, your only way to steer clear of a DUI is to find a safe ride home.

Weird DUI: Self-Driving Cars Won’t Cut the Danger

weird DUI self-driving carWe love our technology. From our smartphones that are replacing many of our executive functions, to the idea of self-driving, autonomous cars, technology seems to be saving our lives in so many ways. It is no wonder that, with the success rate of ignition interlock devices in vehicles of convicted drunk drivers, there are people who want the devices installed as standard equipment in new cars. Of course we all want to be safer, and ignition interlock devices do that.

On the other hand, for those people who never drink and drive, that idea can seem fairly offensive. Plus, requiring the devices for everyone means an additional expense that can be uncalled for, particularly in the case of the person who never drinks and drives, or who never drinks at all.

IF we cannot all agree on ignition interlock devices, then maybe we can all get behind the idea of self-driving cars.

Imagine it, you and your friends all head out for a night on the town. You all are safe in the understanding that what happens at Joe’s Bar will stay at Joe’s Bar. You relax, knowing that your self-driving car will be your designated driver for the night. Those weird DUI warnings are all a thing of the past because you have technology and smart cars on your side.

Then, you all get ready to go home, pile into your car and wait. Nothing happens, and your vehicle isn’t magically moving, driving you home to your awaiting bed. The self-driving feature has, for whatever reason, is not working. You and your friends are in a new, weird DUI dilemma: who drives the driverless car home?

Ok, maybe self-driving cars are still not as reliable as ignition interlock devices. 

Even if we had self-driving cars, we never really know how the night will end up, which means that we should always have a plan for a safe ride home. Being prepared for any drunk driving problems is as simple as having phone numbers ready for when you need a ride home, even if your car promises to get you there on its own.

Weird DUI: You Got a Wisconsin Snowmobile OWI?

Weird DUI Wisconsin Snowmobile OWIMost laws are the result of a person doing something wrong, something that hurts another person’s body, property, or possibly just their feelings. It may also be obvious that a lot of crimes occur under the influence of alcohol. Those innocent beers with friends quickly lead to dangerous decisions, because inhibitions are lowered or judgment flies out the window. While not violent, the weird DUI law criminalizing a drunken snowmobile ride in Wisconsin are still an indication that wherever there is alcohol and a vehicle, the lives and property of others need to be protected.

Evidently, intoxicated snowmobiling in Wisconsin is a pretty common, but weird DUI (OWI).

The state reports an unusually high amount of OWI incidents that occur on snowmobiles. This won’t surprise those who understand how Wisconsin OWI law works. For an OWI that occurs behind the wheel of a car, truck, or SUV the penalty is sometimes nothing more than a traffic ticket. Most first-offense OWI incidents are not criminalized, especially if nobody got hurt and nothing was damages (this type of OWI is defined as a “simple” drunk driving incident). Because the state does not take a strong stance against drunk driving, residents understandably do not see their intoxicated actions as a big deal.

That weird DUI attitude can also bleed over into other intoxicated crimes, including driving a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol, as well as violent crimes, sexual assaults, and more.

There probably is not one person out there who does not see the connection between alcohol and crime, or at least alcohol and bad decisions. Yet, each day, people still drink and drive, or drink and end up with an ignition interlock requirement, or in jail for those decisions. An OWI on a snowmobile may seem like a typical Wisconsin problem, but it is also an illustration of just how easy it is to make a smart choice before drinking and just not allowing alcohol to impair our own common sense.

Weird DUI: Diabetes and Blood Sugar

weird dui diabetes and blood sugarThere are legitimate health concerns that can affect a person’s ability to drive safely. In some cases, those health issues may also test the validity of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, whether a police breathalyzer or an ignition interlock device. A weird DUI myth about blood sugar may actually have some legs, particularly when it comes to the dangers of driving. However, blood sugar, hypoglycemia, or diabetes is still not an excuse for drinking and driving.

There is a weird DUI connection to blood sugar and BAC testing, both biologically and behaviorally.

Anyone who has hypoglycemia or low blood sugar understands the sluggish feeling and foggy head when sugar levels drop. Some people get headaches or cranky, others may pass out. All of that, when driving, can make it difficult to operate the vehicle safely. On top of that, it has been shown that hypoglycemic people produce more acetone, which can register on a BAC test (breathalyzer or interlock).

None of that means that a person with diabetes or hypoglycemia can be excused from a DUI or drunk driving charge. It is actually difficult, if not impossible, to use diabetes or blood sugar issues as an excuse for drinking and driving. No matter what, a drunk driving charge is based upon the presence of alcohol in the system. Even if the BAC reading is below the legal .08 percent limit, a person who is driving dangerously can still be charged with a DUI. If that danger is due to blood sugar problems, the consensus is that the driver already knew they had physical problems that could impair their driving. Then they chose to drink. That is not a weird DUI, that is just asking for trouble.

The risks of impaired driving, whether by BAC, bad health or just a bad mood are obvious. Taking care of your health means eating right, limiting alcohol, and never getting behind the wheel if you go over the limit.

Weird DUI: Toothpaste and Your BAC

weird DUI toothpaste mythWhen we get ready for a fun night with friends, we usually have a checklist of things to do before we leave the house. Not often enough does that checklist include a designated driver or a plan for a safe ride home if we are drinking. However, we usually do make sure we look and smell our best, including our teeth. This may get a little fresh, but we are here to expose another weird DUI myth: toothpaste and a positive breathalyzer test.

Much like the intoxicated milk theory, this blood alcohol concentration (BAC) myth is filled with assumptions and just plain bad information. Toothpaste will not be a factor in any drunk driving arrest or conviction. The weird DUI truth is that while there is sorbitol, or sugar alcohol, in many brands of toothpaste… sugar alcohol is not the substance that breathalyzers (or ignition interlock devices) detect. The stunner in this is that sugar alcohol is not even alcohol.

On top of that, even if sugar alcohol was detectable by a breathalyzer or ignition interlock device, you would have to have a lot of toothpaste in your mouth to register a BAC high enough to be illegal… or concerning. Intoxicated people drink a lot of alcohol, they do not binge brush their teeth. True story.

Would your dentist approve of your weird DUI?

Toothpaste has two things in common with some mouthwashes, or those products that actually have a shot at a false BAC reading: mint flavor and oral hygiene. Mint will not set off a breathalyzer, however. The alcohol in some mouthwashes will. That is why one of the big tips for those with an ignition interlock device is to make sure they swish out any mouthwash before submitting a breath sample. The trace amount of alcohol left behind by mouthwash can trigger a false positive reading on an interlock, but that is also at a much lower level than the legal limit for a DUI.

Weird DUI Debunked: Milk and Your BAC

Welcome to Weird DUI debunking… the milk edition.

weird dui milkWhen we think about drunk driving, we are pretty much guaranteed that the cause of the incident is related to alcohol… the kind that is served in bars or restaurants. The confusion begins when we start to look at the connection (or disconnection) between alcohol, sugar, and people trying to get out of trouble for a DUI.

Alcohol is a product of fermentation, and it is a sugar. Alcohol and sugar are both used in various food or beverages that we can eat or drink legally, no matter how old we are or whether we will be driving later. Maybe that is why claims that beer battered foods or wine sauces cause high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) readings during DUI investigations are not uncommon.

What IS uncommon is the myth that milk (a legal, alcohol-free beverage that you can drink before driving) can somehow cause a BAC measurement, and one high enough to cause a DUI arrest or conviction.

We like to believe that what is discussed on the Internet stays on the Internet. But, people still believe that sucking on pennies can beat a BAC test. So, here we are, explaining that in no way, shape or form can milk cause a BAC reading.

  • Yes, milk contains lactose.
  • Lactose is a milk sugar.
  • Sugar and alcohol are often tossed together as bad additions to diets.
  • Sugar alcohol is neither a sugar nor an alcohol.
  • The only thing that can cause a BAC reading is alcohol. Not sugar, not sugar alcohol, and certainly not milk. Not even if the milk is fermented… like alcohol.

PSA: do not drink fermented milk. Ick.

If you are wondering what set off the police breathalyzer or your ignition interlock device, it was likely the drinks you consumed before driving. If you did not drink alcoholic beverages, maybe you are using cough medicine or swished a little too much mouthwash before blowing into the device. Your glass of milk or the foam in your cappuccino is not the culprit for your weird DUI problem.

Weird DUI: Mosquito Bites and your BAC

weird dui mosquitoIf only there was some way to really know whether are safe to drive after sharing a few drinks with friends. Aside from the obvious breathalyzer test or common sense, that is. If only we were given a sign that would tell us how much alcohol was in our system before we make that buzzed decision to get behind the wheel and drive home.

According to science, we are in luck. A documented, yet weird DUI premonition can come from those pesky bloodsuckers who come to feast at dusk. Mosquitos, it seems, are more attracted to those who are under the influence of alcohol than those who prefer a more sober summer style.

That is a buzz we can all live without, but the weird DUI fact is that alcohol in our blood gives the little buggy pests a scented target that is irresistible. When we drink, we sweat a bit more. We smell a little differently. Our core temperature also rises. All of those factors are attractive to mosquitoes, more than we may realize (because we are intoxicated), and all of those factors are also obvious signs that we are not safe to drive.

Remember that mosquitoes can also carry diseases. Another reason to keep a sober mind, or at least stay at home if you’ll be drinking.

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the measurement used by law enforcement to determine if a person is legally intoxicated. It is also what causes mosquitos to keep bugging us for sample after sample of those shots we just shared.

Perhaps the next time you are enjoying those drinks with friends, notice who is swatting away the mosquitoes. If that person is you, then make a plan for a safe ride home. Not only are you avoiding the dangers of a DUI and the consequences for drunk driving (like an ignition interlock device), but you are also keeping the mosquitos from buzzing while… Buzzed.

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