You may be a very social type of person who loves to get together with friends to hang out, have a few drinks and enjoy your free time. On the other hand, perhaps you wouldn’t classify yourself as the life of the party, but you’re not opposed to having a glass of wine with your meal or a cold beer on occasion. Either way, if you imbibe alcohol and then get behind the wheel of your car to drive, you risk a DUI arrest.

You may think it all depends on whether your blood alcohol content exceeds the legal limit. Surprisingly, many sober people have faced DUI charges because situations like suspected DUI traffic stops often amount to a police officer’s word against the driver’s. Whether you’re alcohol-free or you did have a drink or two before driving, you’ll have your work cut out to try to avoid conviction if you face charges.

Think before you drive

Going to a party doesn’t have to lead to spending the night in jail and risking your future because of criminal charges. There are numerous ideas you can remember to help you steer clear of drunk driving, several of which are in the following list:

  • Alcohol absorbs into your body more slowly if you consume food while drinking it. Having snacks or a big meal during the time you’ll be drinking alcohol is a good way to keep your blood alcohol content level lower.
  • Speaking of BAC, it continues to rise even after you stop drinking alcohol. In other words, if you have your last drink and don’t leave the party for another hour, your BAC may still be higher if police pull you over another half hour later than it was when you took your last swallow.
  • Breath tests are often unreliable; that may not initially play out in your favor, however. For instance, you may be diabetic, which may cause a breath test device to produce a positive result due to ketones on your breath, which the machine may misinterpret as alcohol.
  • If that happens, chances are high that the officer will take you into custody.
  • Wine, beer, whiskey and other types of drinks typically contain the same amounts of pure alcohol, so choosing one type over another is not necessarily going to help you avoid DUI.

Is it illegal for you to drink alcohol and then drive? It depends on several factors, which is why many Illinois motorists decide that it’s safer altogether to completely abstain from alcohol if they plan to drive. If a police officer arrests you for suspected DUI, try not to panic; know your rights and who can help you protect them.