Ever been stopped for drunk driving when you weren't?

Often I’ll be driving home late, after an event of some sort, and sometimes I’ll be the only car on the road. This solitude, along with tiredness and general uncaring (and switching the freaking cd), sometimes leads to pretty crappy driving on my part. Which sometimes makes me worry that if a cop saw me, he might pull me over for DUI. Which I’m not, but would be an immense pain in the ass.

Just wondering if this ever happened to anyone.

I’ve been checked for alcohol plenty of times, at least ten. The Dutch highway police routinely funnels all traffic off the highway for checks, especially on weekend nights.

And although I cannot claim to have been 100% sober all these times (read: I’ll drink 2 beers and still drive), my alcohol level has never been anywhere near illegal during those checks. They make you take a breathaliser test, of which the legal limit is .05%. My highest was .02% or so.

I’ve never been stopped for suspicious or erratic driving, though. Fast driving, that’s another thing altogether. :slight_smile:

'Twasn’t drunk, just really damn tired. Probably just as dangerous, though, and the state trooper made me pull off into a rest stop for a nap. He probably saved my life, and maybe someone else’s.

I don’t drive exhausted anymore.

Hate to be a wet blanket, here, but from your description, you’re not driving safely. You may not be drunk, but you are putting yourself and others in danger.

And yes, I’ve been funneled into a sobriety checkpoint. The cop just asked me a couple of questions and let me go. (I wasn’t drunk.)

I was pulled over late one night for having a headlight out. But the officer thought he’d scored a DUI when I rolled down the window–I reeked of beer.

Fortunately for me, it was just because I was working at a brewery warehouse at the time. I had finished my shift at midnight and was heading home.

During a typical shift, I’d get spattered with stale beer from returned empties, and that stuff smells. And we were not allowed to drink from the warehouse stock; we would be fired for that. On our dinner break, the strongest drink available was coffee. So even though it might have smelled otherwise, I was actually perfectly sober.

Once this was explained, and he saw my work clothes (which had the warehouse name on them) under my parka, the officer understood. He reminded me to fix the headlight, but he did seem a little disappointed that he wasn’t going to get a DUI. At least, not from me.

I got stopped for speeding once, just after having dropped off the last of the sloppy-drunk friends who’d been packed in my car (I was Designated Driver). It was wintertime, so they’d all been talking and singing and breathing and snoring and so forth with the car windows up.

Well. When the cop approached my car, and I rolled the driver window down, I can only imagine what foul and heavy liquor-esque stench flew out to melt off his eyelashes! :eek:

He immediately yanked me out of the car for the whole “walk the line, touch the nose” routine, and then gave me a breathalyzer.

I passed.

He made me take the breathalyzer again.

I passed.

He called for backup, and used THAT cop’s breathalyzer machine on me.

I passed.

At the time I was all nervous and shit (even though I knew I hadn’t been drinking… people in passing cars were staring and all), so I wasn’t thinking to explain to him that I’d just dropped off a carload of heavy-breathing Jack Daniels in Skin Sacks. It didn’t even occur to me WHY he didn’t believe the results of the breathalyzer test(s) until I was back at home. (He couldn’t do anything but give me my speeding ticket and send me on my way, because I wasn’t showing up drunk… but he ordered me to go straight home. I should have said, “I will, officer… right after I make that stop for Dollar Drink night at the Hootin’ Horsie.”)

Yeah, a cop might still nail you for erratic/reckless driving, even if you don’t show any alcohol in your system. When I was a kid, my dad was pulled over one Easter evening by a cop who suspected he might be drunk - I guess he swerved oddly a couple times, but I would bet that it was something like a tire alignment issue than anything else.

It’s still dangerous to drive while distracted, drowsy, etc.; it’s just not as easy to pin your driving erratically on those things as it is to bust someone on a DUI. The difference is that you can ‘snap out of’ being drowsy sometimes, or stop being distracted; you can’t just sober up spontaneously.

A long time ago, I was a firefighter. On the way home from a fire that took all night to put out. I got pulled over because I was swerving, and the cop thought I was drunk. I explained the situation and since he could verify it, he let me go, but told me ,next time to sleep at the fire house if I was so tired.

Once I was pulled over about a hundred yards after entering the street from a parking lot. I hadn’t put my lights on, which is apparently a big sign of being drunk. The cop took one look at me and my friend - all big eyes and completely sober reactions - told me to remember my headlights and sent me on my way.

You know those Listerine breath mint things, Pocketpaks? Taking them can make you fail a breathalyzer.

No kidding; it happened to Mrs. RickJay. She was pulled for speeding on Highway 10 just north of the QEW and had just popped one of those things. The cop smelled it, gave her a breathalyzer, and she blew .26.

When she insisted she hadnt been drinking and it was the Listerine thing, HE tried one and blew… and he failed, too. I wouldn’t believe it if anyone told me but her, but it happened to my wife. No kiddin.

If I’m not mistaken, police officers are supposed to wait a few minutes if they think you were just drinking to administer a breathalyzer, as liquid alcohol in the mouth can cause the test to score too high. That could explain what happened, if the alchohol in the breath strip was still in her mouth.

One time a friend of mine in Budapest got stopped for routine checks (as in, let’s find something we can fine the American for). They checked to make sure he had all his kits, all his lights were working, he hadn’t been speeding, so they couldn’t do anything with that. Finally, they pulled out the breathalyzer test. Now, my friend has never even seen one of these before in his life, let alone taken one. The Hungarian policeman is trying to explain how it works to him, and so he mimics putting his mouth on the machine and blowing. My friend goes “Ohhh!” and hawks a loogey right into the machine. The policeman just looks at him like he’s a complete idiot, takes the machine, goes into his car and cleans it out, and brings it back. He does the same mimicing again, and my friend, still completely clueless, does the same thing! At that point the policeman was just too disgusted to continue with him, and let him go. When my friend told me that story I had to leave the room I was laughing so hard, and he still had no clue what test it was they’d given him!

I’ve had to take a breathalyzer test eight times. Passed it six times and technically passed it a seventh. However, that time I made the mistake of telling a cop to go to hell and they threw me in jail anyway. (Was convicted of PI as it was a dubious arrest and the police and prosecutor damn well knew it.)

Have also had the police search my truck for marijuana because they thought I had been using, but I beat that rap also.

I don’t drive, but my ex-boyfriend was pulled over for speeding at about 3AM, and once they saw on his driver’s license that he was from Tujunga, they gave him every inebriation and drug test they could.

Tujunga, you see, is a little-known suburb of LA, just over the hills from Glendale and Burbank. It’s Glendale’s little backwoods cousin, nowhere near as high-income and pretentious, and is also the speed capital of the whole area. Glendale’s finest are verrrry suspicious of any Tujungans in Glendale territory. My ex was once interrogated as to what “brought” him to Glendale, as if it weren’t less than five miles away.

A Park Ranger once thought I was high and shone a flashlight in my face, but luckily my cat allergies hadn’t been bugging me that day so my eyes weren’t too red.

I was driving home after a dance, a whole bunch of us ate at In 'N Out Burger until they tossed us out at 2AM and I was sipping on my Diet Coke in the red and white cup and sitting at a 5 minute red light right before hitting the highway. Nearing 3AM, there wasn’t another car for miles, except tiny headlights way behind me. Tired of waiting, I started to pull onto the highway and looked back to see the lightbar flare up. Highway Patrol has me fair and square. I pull over on the side of the highway and the patrolman shines his flashlight into my still made-up face and over my dancing costume—a short flared skirt, fringed top and finged cowboy boots. He takes in the In 'N Out cup and says half-heartedly “Have you been drinking?” Oh, no, officer, alcohol isn’t allowed at club dances! Taking in my outfit one more time, he sighs and says “It’s late; you get on home”. I know he was dissappointed not to have a DUI but I hope my black and silver ensemble made up for some of the let-down.
Yee Haw.

A number of years ago, when we were both in college, my brother was driving me back to my apartment at one a.m. when he started switching lanes, just acting silly which my entire family is prone to do from time to time. Not a good idea in that part of town at that time however. A police car happened to be right behind us and pulled us over promptly. My brother had to take the whole roadside sobriety test while I sat in the front seat giggling quite a lot. :slight_smile:

I got stopped because I was driving the wrong way down a one-way service drive of a very confusing hotel parking lot. It was very late, and my s.o. was drunk, which is why I was driving. The s.o. had driven us there, but I wouldn’t let him drive us away. (I’d had about 5 beers, but nothing for 2 hours before we left, knowing I’d be driving.) The cop didn’t make me get out of the car; asked for I.D. of course; then asked me to say the alphabet after he started it. No problem. I explained that I was simply confused by the huge parking area and was trying to get out on the main road, and he gave me directions and off I went.

I was supporting a Space Shuttle mission by capturing the Edwards AFB rawinsonde data and sending it to Johnson Space Centre. Since the WX data had to be transmitted as soon as it was available in case the Shuttle needed to break orbit and land immediately, these transmissions happened throughout the night.

After pulling my regular shift and then staying over to make the rawinsonde transmission, it was very late when I headed home. I was the only car on the Rosamond Blvd. heading off of the base. I was stopped at the guard shack and an air police car pulled up behind me. The AP said He saw me cross the centre line twice (I may have hit the “drunk bumps” a couple of times) and suspected I was intoxicated. Nope. Just dead tired.

Not being drunk, I was allowed to proceed and made it home to Lancaster safely.

In Oz they call them Random Breath Tests (RBTs), and I’ve had my provisional licence for a year. I’ve been RBT’d about four times in that year. The police set up sites on the side of the road, and stop everyone.

I got hit at about 8am on New Years morning. I suspect a lot of people get caught then.

One time at 3 am 20miles outside of Sacramento (my then home) coming from San Diego I was letting my leadfoot do the driving and was pulled over. The officer kept asking me over and over if I’d had anything to drink, any other substances, and I just said, “a lot of coke,” meaning Coca-Cola. I winced and waved one crushed can, perhaps the fifth I’d had in the drive. I was also smoking cloves way back then and had probably had a pack. After eight hours of marinating in caffeine and nicotine, ugh, I must have smelled like a very funky monkey. He did a couple finger waving tests, and reluctantly let me go with just the speeding ticket. My fiancé told me that some of his classmates don’t have the clearest idea of what pot really smells like (and why would they, the hardasses :wink: ), so I suppose he was just confused by the funk. Embarrassing.

Another time I was driving a coworker home and he had to pick up a bottle of vodka for a special infused liquer he was making from the local Safeway, and from there I headed down K st towards his midtown home. I was pulled over after only a few blocks, because I moved into what I thought was a curb lane (like they have in San Diego and Berkeley where during a certain time cars can park and outside of that time, cars can drive in it) well before my turn. The officer who pulled me over said that he pulled me over because I had been driving in the bike lane and that was a tell tale sign of being drunk. He asked the requisite, “have you had anything to drink tonight?” A little paranoically mindful of the vodka my coworker had just purchased, I stuttered something about thinking the lane was a curb lane, “like in San Diego,” and that I was just driving my coworker home after work, I waved my apron at him like a white flag. Then he asked if maybe we’d had too much caffeine, which I found amusing. I got away with a warning that time…*and I never drove in that gargantuan bike lane again. *
It had a dashed line, I still think it looked a hell of a lot like a curb lane.
Harrumph, gettin’hassled by the man, harrumph.

A friend of mine keeps those in her car in case she’s driving and she’s had a beer or two (but is still okay to drive) so if a cop pulls her over her breath doesn’t smell…I should tell her about that!