Question: How should I respond if police ask me whether I’ve been drinking during a drunk driving stop in Michigan?
Answer: Very common answers such as, in response to “How much did you have to drink?” Most people say something like, “A couple.” Well, that’s such a common answer, it doesn’t come across as truthful, so that’s not particularly helpful either, but if you admit to drinking a lot of alcohol, obviously that will be used against you. It is rarely helpful to give the second most common answer, which is that you stopped drinking about an hour ago.
Because it takes most people about an hour to reach maximum bodily alcohol; what you’ve essentially admitted is that you have reached or surpassed your maximum alcohol level and your level is starting to drop. So that when the police officer takes the test from you at some point after that, the jury might conclude therefore that you were actually higher at the time that you were driving.
The best answer, or I should say the most helpful answer, is to tell the officer that you just stopped drinking a few minutes ago. But the best answer really, or the best advice rather, is to not try to outsmart the officer—to try and be as honest as you can but say as little as possible, while still appearing to be cooperative.
Even though you don’t have an obligation to answer most of those questions, just recognize that your failure to answer could be used against you. Not as part of establishing a crime, but because of the negative inferences that a judge or jury may draw from your noncooperation.