Top 10 Excuses That Won’t Get You Out of a DUI, Explained by a Seattle Lawyer

the concept for drink driving

Guest author Antonio Garguile is a Seattle area lawyer who explains some of the excuses (that never work) when trying to get out of a DUI. 

We have all heard them, some of us have thought them, and in 2016 alone over 23,000 drivers in Washington State likely used them. Simply put, when it comes to drunk driving, cops have heard them all before and are actively looking for a reason to pull you over. It’s time to put these excuses to bed where they belong.

the concept for drink driving
the concept for drink driving

But…your friend told you that time they got pulled over wasted and told the cop “insert random, absurd excuse here” that got them out of a DUI. As a defense attorney, I can’t believe some of the things that come out of my clients’ mouths. The cop just saw you going 20 mph over the speed limit while swerving in and out of your lane, whatever excuse you come up probably won’t cut it. One thing is certain, alcohol impairs your ability to drive, but it certainly doesn’t impair the ability to make excuses. So without further ado:     

1) “I can handle my liquor.”
A number of cops have told me that this is the #1 excuse they get when stopping people for DUIs. Congratulations, you just won a night or two in the big house!

2) “I’ve only had two drinks.”
A favorite of drunk drivers. Unfortunately, your slurred speech tells a different story. 

3) “Uber & Lyft are too expensive.”
Do you think DUIs are cheap? The average DUI for a first-time offender usually costs between $5,000-$10,000. It’s better to shell out the $20-$50 for a cab home than risk getting pulled over. 

4) “I can’t park my car here overnight, or they’ll tow me.”
See above!!

5) “I drive more carefully when I’ve been drinking a little!”
False. Study after study has shown that reaction times and depth perception becomes impaired after as little as one drink.

6) “It’s been hours since I had those shots. I’m sure I’ve sobered up.”
The body processes alcohol at different rates depending on a number of factors. Never, ever guess your BAC (blood alcohol concentration).

7) “I’m on medication that was prescribed by my doctor. I didn’t drink a thing!”
Stop playing Russian Roulette on the road! All kinds of prescribed medications can create dangerous conditions for you when driving.

8) “I wasn’t drinking, I just smoked a joint.”
As the saying goes “Drive high, get a DUI.” Even though it’s legal in Washington, marijuana impairment is still impairment.

9) “I pulled over to sleep it off! I knew I shouldn’t drive, so I stopped here, officer.”
A driver can be arrested for “physical control” of a vehicle under the influence. Read more here.

10) “My friends in the back are drunker than me. I’m the designated driver, so I didn’t have much.”
Being the designated driver means abstinence from drinking, not the person in the group that’s the least wasted! Your impairment has nothing to do with anyone else’s impairment.

Next time you go to happy hour or decide to have a night out on the town, leave your keys at home and get a taxi. Not drinking and driving is the only sure-fire way to avoid a DUI.

Antonio Garguile, Attorney

Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden
(253) 473-4262