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Trick Questions

Arrested for Driving while Intoxicated ("DWI")

If you drive after having an alcoholic beverage, sooner or later, you will be stopped and probably arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). The pressures for police officers to win DWI cases has reached new levels, which is shown through Police Officers' use of Trick Questions.

When someone is being investigated for Driving While Intoxicated, the arresting officer will usually ask the person being questioned to perform a series of sobriety tests. After these tests, when the Officer feels that he or she has gained compliance, they will often continue to take advantage of a person's natural desire to be polite and cooperative and ask, without reading someone his or her Miranda rights, something close to the following question:

"On a scale of 0 to 10, what do you think your intoxication level is right now? 0 being totally sober and 10 being pretty drunk." 

This is a trick question because any answer you give the Officer that is above a (0) will most likely be considered intoxicated for purposes of a DWI arrest.

The Officer knows that most people don't know the legal definition of the word, "Intoxication" and he or she doesn't define or explain it to the person being questioned. Additionally, the words "totally sober" and "intoxication level" are also left for your interpretation.

The legal definition of "Intoxication" is “…not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol... " along with the .08 or more alcohol concentration (“BAC”).

The question above does not allow the person being questioned a way to tell the officer, "I've had some alcohol, but I'm not intoxicated". This question is fundamentally unfair and is used by Officers to try and support a DWI arrest.