- posted: Aug. 29, 2018
Well, “beat” may be to strong a word since a lawyer looks for the best result possible with the facts presented. However, following the advice herein, may allow your lawyer to get a drastic reduction or at least be able to deal with less evidence against you. Less evidence increases your chances of a successful result. So with Memorial Day this week, beware of more cars on the road thus more accidents and DUI’s. More police on the streets means more checkpoints.
Initially, when stopped for a DUI, safely pull over to the side of the road, with your hands on the steering wheel and wait for the officer before you move. Be polite and courteous. Then remember you have the right to remain silent. Use it! Do not help the police build their case against you. I believe this is the same advice President Trump and Michael Cohen are currently getting from their lawyers. The first question you will be asked is “have you been drinking?” Remain silent. Follow the instructions below. You do not want to admit to drinking nor do you want to lie and say you have had nothing. They will smell alcohol on your breath and know you have lied to them. Silence is Golden and Handcuffs are Silver.
Remember, the Field Sobriety Tests, finger to nose, walk the line etc are all optional. You, don’t have to take them. Cut out the card at the end of this article, keep it in your wallet, next to your license and hand it to the officer. These tests are designed by the police to confirm their suspicion of a DUI. In addition the breath test, at the scene, is likewise optional.
Advise the officer you would be happy to cooperate with law enforcement and take anything that is mandatory. Request a blood test at the station….though you could also take a breath test there. Many professionals believe the blood test is preferable, because with the passage of time, your reading is decreasing. The police must call someone to draw the blood and if you are lucky, it takes a while to get them there. Remember, If you do not take a chemical test, your license will be suspended for a year.
Even when arrested for a DUI, a good lawyer will looks for police mistakes. Some police prepare poor reports and have bad note taking skills or lack the intellectual capacity and don’t take evidence down as it occurs. They don’t prepare their reports for 45 minutes or so and sometimes write down what they “thought” the driver said. Sometimes there is an improper collection of evidence at the scene and they often do not interview the passenger or look in the car for evidence.
DUI’s are controlled by Title 17, which establishes the protocol for how police departments administer a DUI blood or breath test. It shifts the burden back to the DA or DMV and they have to call experts, and they do not want to do so. Title 17 requires 15 continuance minutes of observation. When the officer gets to the station s/he have to secure their weapons. Meanwhile the defendant is in the car and then walks into the jail. This often breaks the 15 minute window. A failure to properly collect blood evidence, such as not noting what the blood nurse does after the blood draw, may result in a dismissal. Likewise for a missing inversion of the blood vial, so that the blood and anti-coagulant do not mix properly with the preservative of sodium fluoride. If this is not done correctly, then fermentation occurs and shifts the burden back to the DA/DMV.
Many officers lack a true understanding of field sobriety tests. They sometimes improperly instruct, demonstrate and record the tests. There are 3 standard tests but, the hand pat, finger count and finger nose are not standardized. They are subjective versus an objective standardized test. Officers often don’t factor in fatigue, the grade or the gravel at the location. So whatever you do, don’t make the case for the DA.