When drivers are stopped by law enforcement based on suspicion of driving under the influence, anxiety can shoot through the roof. This can have a disastrous effect on any of the diagnostic measures used to determine whether the individual is actually affected by drugs or alcohol. Indeed, the behavior of plenty of drivers who are merely nervous has been misconstrued as intoxication.
Understandably, those who actually have consumed alcoholic beverages may feel even more anxious when speaking to police, which may increase the likelihood of suspicion. When drivers who aren’t too intoxicated to drive remain calm, the likelihood of escaping an encounter with the law without a ticket increases significantly.
Cool under pressure
The wife of Miami Heat superstar Alonzo Mourning provided a good example of how to handle oneself during a DUI stop. Ms. Mourning, who is known not only as an NBA spouse but also as a socialite and philanthropist, kept an even keel throughout her late-night encounter with the boys in blue. After responding politely and succinctly to all questions, Ms. Mourning refused a Breathalyzer test at the scene of the stop. Since roadside exercises failed to conclusively demonstrate the woman was intoxicated, the police were left with no hard evidence that she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Another courtside victory
While most of the court-related victories the Mournings have experienced are connected to Alonzo’s work in the world of professional basketball, Ms. Mourning came through in the clutch, and her day in court never arrived. Based on her reaction during the stop, her demeanor, and the lack of hard evidence of any intoxication, the prosecutors dropped the charges.
Is refusing a Breathalyzer always the right choice?
As such, the decision to take or refuse a breath test may depend heavily on the circumstances of the case. As Ms. Mourning’s outcome demonstrates, there may be major benefits in the long run for savvy drivers who refuse tests and remain composed during DUI stops.