Many people don’t think about how much sleep they got before they get behind the wheel. Instead, they just assume that they’ll be able to drive safely to where they’re going. What some people may not realize is that drowsy driving has effects that mimic drunk driving.
If you’ve gone more than 20 hours without sleep, you’ll experience the same effects as a person who’s legally drunk. This includes a lowered reaction time and less awareness of the hazards that are around your vehicle. Police officers may see how you’re driving and pull you over for the suspicion of drunk driving.
Can police officers tell if you’re drowsy and not drunk?
The only definitive way for police officers to tell if you’re drowsy and not drunk is to do a chemical test. But, even that might not be good enough to prevent charges. They may assume that you’re impaired by a substance that doesn’t show up on the chemical test. A field sobriety test might not be much help either.
Being fatigued instead of drunk doesn’t mean that you won’t face any involvement in the criminal justice system. It doesn’t mean that you won’t face the strict penalties that come with drunk driving. It’s imperative in these cases that you take steps right away to work on your defense strategy.
There’s also a risk of being in a crash when you’re fatigued. You’re three times more likely to crash when you’re fatigued than when you’re well-rested. A crash could mean that you face other legal charges, too. You’ll have to determine what strategy you’ll use to combat any charges related to fatigued driving.