4th Of July Weekend Means Fireworks, And Maybe Alcohol And Police
This year the 4th of July is on a Friday, which means the potential for your BBQ, weekend and
fun to go too far. Holiday weekends usually mean more police out there trying to keep the roads
safe and this weekend will be no different. There will be a noticeable amount of police
patrolling the roads and conducting DUI Checkpoints.
Drinking and Driving is a dangerous thing and should be prevented by having either a designated
driver, taking a cab or calling a service like Designated Drivers to take you and your car home.
However, if you happen to have too much to drink, get behind the wheel of your car and are
pulled over or caught in a Checkpoint follow these simple POINTERS on how to protect your
defense and interact with the police.
While you may still be arrested for DUI you will have protected your defense and possibly made
it harder for the police to provide reasons for having a reasonable belief that you were under the
influence and have helped me for when I defend you in court!
You look in your mirror and you see the red and blue lights flashing and instantly you are mad
and scared. Whatever you do, do not give the officer attitude. When you speak (only the phrases
I tell you to say) always make sure to speak calmly and respectfully.
Don’t Answer Any Questions, Or Speak!
This is your Constitutional right! Use it! Don’t let the police pressure you into giving it up.
Whatever you do do not offer any information or speak to the officer. Remember anything you
say can and will be used against you. NEVER admit to drinking or drug usage!
The officer will ask you questions, usually designed to make you admit to doing something
wrong. These questions can be along the lines of, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or
“Have you been drinking..?” Instead of answering with the common answer of “I only had two
beers…,” simply hand the officer your license, registration and insurance card and say, “I
respectfully decline to answer any questions.” If the officer continues to pressure you to speak or
answer questions just state that again.
So, don’t answer or speak and by doing so you give the police less to you against you when and
if the prosecutor tries to prove you are guilty of DUI. You should also…
Refuse To Perform The Field Sobriety Tests
At some point, if the officer believes you are under the influence, he will ask you to perform
some Field Sobriety Tests. Simply say, “I do not wish to perform the tests,” and then refuse to
speak further. The officer will try to trick you and pressure you into performing these tests, even
going so far as to tell you that they will arrest you if do not perform them. Do not fold under the
pressure! Remember that if you take the tests you are providing evidence against yourself, and
the officer will arrest you for failing anyway, so do not bother looking uncoordinated on the side
of the road.
So, don’t take these tests, any of them, and preserve a defense for yourself. Also…
Videotape The Initial Interaction While Seated In Your Car
When you are initially stopped by the police use your phone to record when the officer first
approaches your window to capture any possible violations of your rights. If the officer tells you
that you can not record or to stop filming simply and respectfully say, “Officer I am not
impeding your work. I am just making sure my rights do not get violated.”
Once the officer has you step out of the vehicle your ability to record may be stopped, so do not
demand to be allowed to use your phone. However, if you have a friend in your car have them
do the recording of not only the initial questioning, but also of when the officer has you step out
of the car. Also…
Don’t Consent To A Search Of Your Vehicle
Sometimes the police will want to search your car or truck for contraband and drugs. Do not
consent to this, even if there is nothing in your car! This is your 4th Amendment right!
If you are arrested the officer will be able to search certain parts of your car, but until this
happens do not consent to the search. Remember that…
You Have A Choice Of A Blood Or Breath Test At The Station
If you are arrested for a DUI in most cases you have a choice of chemical tests. These tests are
the Breath Test and the Blood Test. If you refuse to take either test the officer must call a judge
and obtain a search warrant granting him permission to get your blood.
If you have followed the steps above the officer may find it more difficult to state valid reasons
for why a search warrant should be granted. If this happens, then the search warrant can be
challenged in court.
I will not tell you which test to choose or if you should refuse to be tested. However, what I can
tell you is that if you have drugs in your system you should choose the Breath test.
Keep in mind that if you choose the Breath test and you have more than .08 BAC you will lose
your license right then and there, while if you choose Blood you will keep your license until the
testing results are returned. (NOTE: the loss of your license can be challenged and a new
license issued immediately if you contact my office.)
So, remember that you have a choice of taking or refusing either test and that an officer can not
force you to choose one or to submit to one without a search warrant.
Call My Office For Help
This last pointer is for use once you are released from jail or given a ticket. Call my office
immediately so that we can begin constructing your defense, which will be fortified by you
following all of these other pointers.
ALL in ALL even if you follow these tips you may still be arrested for a DUI. However, you
will have not given the police free evidence against you, and have made them have to work to
show that you were drunk and driving. As long as you remember these tips you will set yourself
on the path to potentially not being convicted for a DUI and possibly saving your license. As
always, remember that as soon as you are out of jail to CALL MY OFFICE for help and to make
this tough time E-Z. Have a safe and fun Fourth of July.