Although none of the Orange County police agencies have released information that they are conducting a DUI checkpoint this Sunday evening, do not be lulled into thinking the few beers with some wings during the Super Bowl will go unnoticed. Not only will all the parties end and happy and sad bar patrons leave sometime after the big game, but there will be a multitude of police vehicles out on the street looking for those who are impaired or above the legal limit.
One thing to pay attention to as you enjoy the afternoon with family and friends while watching the Giants and Patriots fight for the title, is that a DUI may be charged under two vehicle code sections. One section is Vehicle Code section 23152(a) and the other is Vehicle Code section 23152(b). The (a) section is “driving under the influence” and the measurement of that standard is completely subjective. The smell of alcohol, the steadiness, the agility, the coordination and balance will all be measured by a police officer that has never met you to know how coordinated you are on any other day, and is determining whether or not his/her observations indicate impairment. The (b) section is the one measured by the actual blood alcohol level. A .08 or more percent of alcohol in one’s blood while driving is illegal. However, a couple of things to consider are that blood alcohol levels may go up quite rapidly, the device used to measure blood alcohol concentrations have a margin of error, the level is being measured at the time of the test not at the time of driving, and does anyone really understand or know what they feel like with a .08 percent level of alcohol in their blood in order to know when not to drive.
Regardless, if you are a Brady or Manning fan, are drinking IPAs or Lights, red or white wine, margaritas or mojitos, eating wings or legs, pizza or tacos, be aware that we will truly never know our blood alcohol level when we leave the game and the first thing to go with alcohol is judgment so be safe and don’t drive.