I just had to read the story so that I could get the context. The short version - yep, he's not going to win any prizes for having common sense.
I've seen those keychain breathalyzers at BestBuy, et al - he could've stopped there. Of course, at 1.5x the legal limit (would that be about .12 in CA? We use .08 almost everywhere here), he might not have been able to interpret the results (or snap a pic of them w/ his phone and then send to the right people (friends).
From what we see of this poor guy, he might have sent the pic (along with embedded geolocation info) to local law enforcement instead.
"Am I drunk?"
"Yes, sir, you are. Stay right where you are, we'll be along shortly"
Of course, if he managed to somehow get the text / picture to me, as someone he wagered with, there's no guarantee I wouldn't have sent that same message back to him as a spoof
It's .08 here too for a criminal charge, .05 to .07 roadside on the ASD will get you a 3 day suspension and a tow (unless a friend can drive it legally) under provincial law. A fail on the ASD is an automatic tow and impound for 7 days along with 90 day suspension under provincial law, then it's a ride to the station for an actual test to determine exact alcohol level, which if over .08 will get you a criminal charge laid and a court date.
But, the courts here are a joke. They'll either toss the charge on a technicality (and there are a LOT of them) or reduced. But the real hurt will come when insurance finds out (and they will) and drop you or charge you 10x more than before. Even just a 3 day suspension will get the attention of the insurance.
Here (IL), you can decline the breathalyzer (ASD), but it's automatic 90 day license suspension if you do. I think most states are similar. In IL, they made it a DUI / DWI eligible offense to just be *parked in your car* intoxicated (say, if you were at a bar, and decided to 'sleep it off' for a bit before heading out). I actually experienced this firsthand (many years ago, before the law was passed; not since)
I had a friend I used to work with who was a 3-time offender (no fatalities / injuries to others), and lost his license for 5 years - no work / hardship allowances.) He definitely fit the stereotype of an Irishman liking to get his drink on after work.)
When he got it back (wasn't automatic - had to go to court again), he had to have a breathalyzer with interlock installed into his Impreza - blow into it at .00 or the car doesn't start (I wouldn't be surprised if it recorded the event, too, but I never asked him about it). That lasted for a year or so; finally, he was able to get rid of it (and he got a different car, too - can't say I blamed him for doing that, since he was originally caught in the Impreza and had to look at it in his garage every day of those 5 years.)
No, I don't condone DWI (and if anyone on this site has lost someone to a drunk driver, I apologize if I sound like I do). But it is shockingly easy to blow .08 And I think they would go lower, if they could (we have the 'buzzed driving is drunk driving' PSAs, etc.)
Thankfully, Uber, Lyft and the like exist now (for the stubborn ones like me, who wouldn't think of imposing on a friend twice to drive them (night of / day after).
No, I don't DWI - but I'm not going to lie and say that I'd always have blown < .08, had I ever needed to.
As an aside - I know cannabis is legal nationwide now, in CA (or was supposed to be, in July - I remember hearing about last-minute scrambles on CBC Radio, when I was in Montana).
Any changes to the 'motor law', respective to it?
We'll probably be nationwide at the next party change at the presidential level, so I'm curious to see what might be coming. Probably 'zero tolerance' for us, I would imagine. Maybe an exemption for medical purposes (while driving), but that's a big 'maybe' (For you 'states rights' people out there - it'll be an unofficial federal standard, just as .08 is now - or your state will suddenly be funding its highway infrastructure on its own)
Don't get me going on the pot thing. Legalization was pushed back to Oct. 13. There was always driving under the influence of drugs, including cannabis, but it is more difficult to prove since there is no roadside test for it except drug recognition experts which will be contested in court to high holy hell and wind up with more technicalities than alcohol. We already had a problem with it and now will be worse. Only time really it is used is when it is suspected at an accident, especially if injury or death is involved, and a blood demand is made for analysis.
Refusing the ASD here is just as bad as driving over the limit and is actually easier to prove. "Officer, did he refuse to blow? Yes he did. Guilty!" We also have the "care and control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated" charge but has to be in a position to be able to drive the car, basically sitting in the driver's seat with access to the keys. One case was lost because the car was found in a snowbank and not able to move, hence, not able to drive. Yeah, I know... Damned judges!