Despite a massive anti-drunk driving media campaign and strict laws, impaired driving continues to be a problem in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accounts for more than 10,000 deaths each year.
In 2018 alone, an American was killed in an accident involving a drunk driver every 50 minutes. Unfortunately, even with all of the steps taken toward progress in stamping out drunk driving, people still choose to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink.
In fact, many drunk drivers actively take steps to hide their inebriated state. Thankfully, law enforcement officers are trained to spot their tricks and counter them to get drunk drivers off of the nation’s roadways.
3 Ways Drunk Drivers Try to Hide Impairment
Here are the most common ways intoxicated drivers try to hide their impairment. If you find that you have had too much to drink and need to travel, it is vital that you find an alternative method of transportation. Never drink and drive.
1. Breath Mints and Mouthwash
Because alcohol has such a pungent aroma, some drunk drivers believe that using an abundance of breath mints or mouthwash will conceal the smell of alcohol. The reason this doesn’t work is that the smell of alcohol actually comes from more than just the mouth after drinking.
Alcohol is metabolized in the liver, but only about 90% of the chemical compounds are actually removed. The rest are excreted through urine while some of those compounds seep out through skin pores. This means that you can have the freshest breath in the world, but you will likely still smell like alcohol if you have been drinking even moderate amounts.
2. Using Heavy Perfume or Cologne
Drunk drivers may try to combat the smell of alcohol coming from the pores through the heavy use of perfume or cologne. The problem with this approach is that police are trained to investigate further if they have a reasonable suspicion that you may be intoxicated behind the wheel.
If you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving while impaired and the police are hit in the face with a cloud of heavy perfume or cologne when you roll down your window, you can bet that they will be more likely to investigate further.
3. Measuring Speech and Perfecting Test Performance
Because alcohol can cause cognitive impairment and slur speech, some drunk drivers may try to measure their speech patterns to avoid slurring words. This can come across as award and unnatural, and it will certainly raise questions among a law enforcement officer who already knows that you may be trying to fool them.
A similar trick sometimes tried is practicing saying the alphabet backward to have the pattern memorized. The problem with this is that the whole purpose of having you recite the alphabet backward is to see how you well you can stay focused.
In other words, the test is supposed to trip a sober person up and an intoxicated person even more so. If you have the pattern memorized and can recite it with no problem, you may rise suspicions. The same goes for any other field sobriety test that you have practiced and perfected. As odd as it sounds, if you are too good, you may be under further scrutiny.
Additional Field Sobriety Tests May Include:
- Heel-to-toe walk and turn;
- Finger dexterity/nose touch;
- Balancing on one leg.
Contact a Lawyer if You’ve Been Injured
If you have been injured in a drunk driving incident, you may be unsure of where to turn for help. Right now, medical bills could be mounting, and you might also be in a lot of pain. Thankfully, you do have options to seek compensation, and the first step in that direction is to hire a skilled attorney like this car crash lawyer in Alexandria.
A car crash attorney will be able to meet with you to discuss your case, review your medical records and provide options for pursuing the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can also handle all the complicated details involved in dealing with insurance companies as well as provide representation on your behalf if your case needs to move to trial.