Many residents of Redmond and the surrounding areas end up at Redmond Square or Redmond Town Center for dinner and a night out with friends. Many locals end up having a couple of drinks before hopping on the 520 to head back home only to find police lights in their rear-view mirrors. Even if the driver is sure he or she is not intoxicated, the night can end with a drunk driving arrest.
A Couple of Drinks Out in Redmond Square May Be Enough
Most drivers like to think they have a pretty good idea of when they've had too much to drink. Unfortunately, a driver's level of impairment and blood alcohol level may not be in sync. Additionally, a police officer's “training” may tell them a different story when it comes to drunk drivers.
Drivers are aware that the law says a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of only 0.08% or higher is enough for a DUI. For some people, a couple of drinks may be enough to put them over the edge. There are general rules for how many drinks it takes to put a driver over the edge, based on gender and weight.
However, these charts can underestimate the actual amount of alcohol the average person consumes. A 12 oz bottle of 5% alcohol beer is not the same as a 16 oz pint of a strong 8% IPA. Many bartenders and servers also freely give customers a “strong” cocktail or a heavy-handed pour on a glass of wine.
Even if you responsibly limit the amount of alcohol you drink, you can still be arrested with a BAC under the legal limit. A police officer can arrest you for impaired driving even if a breathalyzer shows below the legal limit. The officer may claim that the driver was impaired below the legal limit or the officer suspected you were under the influence of some other substance.
DUIs and Fender Benders in the Redmond Town Center Parking Lot
Another common problem for drivers heading home after a night out at Redmond Square after a couple of drinks involves minor fender benders. Fender benders are common in parking lots, especially during busy times when people are fighting to find a parking spot.
Most of the time, these fender benders involve a brief argument and an exchange of insurance information. However, if the other driver gets a whiff of alcohol on your breath, he or she may call the police, even if the accident was not your fault. An accident that had nothing to do with impaired driving could result in a DUI because of another person's inattentive driving.
Some drivers panic if they tap another car in a parking lot knowing they have been drinking. A common reaction is to make sure there was no serious damage and leave. However, if another shopper sees you tap another bumper tap without leaving a note, he or she may take down your license and call the police. If you are pulled over down the road, the police may suspect you of impaired driving and can also tack on a charge for leaving the scene of an accident.
Police Looking for Intoxicated Redmond Drivers
Redmond police are well-aware that people are out eating and drinking at the Tipsy Cow, Malt & Vine, or JJ Mahoney's. They also know that some of these people will be driving home after having one too many. It is not uncommon to see police cars waiting around the area watching for drivers who might be impaired.
Police are trained to look for signs of impairment as well as any reason to justify a traffic stop. For example, one of the first things people do before leaving a parking lot is mapping their drive home. Looking at your phone or searching directions while driving may be just the type of thing the police are looking for to justify pulling you over.
Once you are pulled over, for any violation, including a broken tail light or driving without your headlights on, the police will continue to probe for any signs of alcohol or drug impairment. This includes the smell of alcohol on your breath, inconsistent statements, or completely normal reactions, like being nervous.
Redmond DUI Defense Lawyer
John Tymczyszyn is a former prosecutor who now fights to defend his clients against criminal charges in Redmond and the surrounding areas. Remember, an accusation is NOT a conviction. You have a chance to keep your license and avoid a criminal record. Contact John today for a free consultation on your DUI case.