In my Maine practice I often see drivers who are fatigued charged with OUI or DUI. Why you ask? Because many of the same indicators of alcohol intoxication are consistent with indicators of a fatigued driver. The longer you've been up the more difficult it may be for you to perform simple, basic tasks such as counting backwards, the alphabet and answering simple questions posed by the investigating officer.
Think about how many times you've driven home with way too little sleep after a grueling day at work. Perhaps you worked a double shift at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and haven't been sleeping well. You've got a long drive to Portland Maine ahead of you and you begin to nod off at the wheel and start to ride the shoulder. Or perhaps you begin to drift into another lane only to be awoken at the last moment by the sounds of the other driver laying on his horn and flashing his high beams at you. That was probably a scary night for you and you were thankful you made it home in one piece.
Now, imagine you had a couple of beers after your long double shift at work. You're a little more relaxed and the fatigue sets right in. Imagine you have a police officer following behind you who observes everything I just described and he pulls you over. He smells the beer on your breath and assumes that he's got an intoxicated driver. You make some mistakes on the field sobriety tests and boom... you're under arrest!
That's all it takes to turn your life upside down. So what do you do now? You call me and we'll talk about your case at length. We'll determine if this is an impaired driving case or merely a case of mistaken assumptions by the officer... a fatigued driver case.