William Long Whitesell, L.L.C.

Can you be arrested for impaired driving when you're sober?

You're probably thinking that the easiest way to avoid an impaired driving arrest is simple: Just don't drink or use drugs before getting behind the wheel. Then you'll never be arrested. Right?

Not so fast. Sober people have absolutely been arrested for impaired driving, something the police have the power to do.

For example, one woman was pulled over because the police thought she'd been drinking. She insisted she hadn't. They gave her a breath test, and it confirmed that there was no alcohol in her system.

Instead of letting her go, the police just changed tactics. They said they thought she'd actually been smoking marijuana instead.

Again, she insisted that she hadn't. She offered to do a drug test, knowing she'd pass.

The officer told her he didn't "have a magical drug test" for her to take on the side of the road. Instead he cuffed her and brought her to jail, where she had to stay for the night.

The saga wasn't over. She worked as a waitress and needed an alcohol server's permit. The arrest meant that it was revoked. The costs of the arrest were incredible.

The kicker: Months later, the drugs tests were finished. She hadn't smoked marijuana and had no drugs in her system. She'd been completely sober the entire time, just like she said.

Valid arrests for impaired driving are made, but the police do have a lot of leeway if an officer thinks he or she sees signs of drug use -- which may or may not be real. If you're arrested by mistake, it's absolutely critical to know your legal rights.

Source: 11 Alive, "'The Drug Whisperer' | Drivers arrested while stone cold sober," Brendan Keefe, Michael King, accessed Oct. 11, 2017

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