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Essential Considerations to Protect Yourself if Arrested for DWI/Drunk Driving/DUI
May 16, 2011
How does a Driver reconcile the need to cooperate with The Man vs. the desire to not be convicted of a DUI? Think of it as a game of chess.
When The Man activates his lights and siren, and comes up to your window with a gun and a badge, a driver understands the need to appear cooperative.
It becomes problematic if the driver could not mask the odor of alcoholic beverages or if something was wrong with the driving. A weave is a DUI Officer’s pet peeve.
Reality hurts when a DWI Officer thinks he can smell alcohol. Like a bowling ball rolling down the lane, the DWI Driver Dude is facing the inevitable drunk driving “approach.”
The Officer’s approach is simple: Smell = Gather Drunk Driving Evidence = Arrest.
The driver’s approach is complicated. Exactly how does the driver appear to cooperate while exercising vested rights?
“Rights” is not a favorite word of the DUI Officer. In fact, once the driver starts mentioning rights, the Officer can take it as Refusal. Refusal usually means a longer license suspension and/or a jury instruction for consciousness of guilt.
Rights are pretty limited anyway in a DWI case. The Implied Consent Law generally means the Driver MUST submit to blood or breath test. And that usually does not include the right to speak to a lawyer first or the right to remain silent as silence can be deemed a Refusal.
The odor not only makes Driver a Presumed DWI Arrest Target. It may cause resentment by the DUI Officer. Too many times, drunk-smelling drivers hassle The Man. And The Man is usually not very patient or understanding.
Therefore, it is important to remain polite.
A mental balancing challenge follows. Of course, it’s naturally a function of each step the DUI Officer takes and the words he or she chooses to use.
Much like a game of chess, each player has pieces to use. The DUI Officer is the King, so you cannot touch him.
The hand-held breath test gadget is the Queen. But while the Queen may approach the Driver, the Driver does not have to blow kisses at the Queen. Unless the Driver is underage,
Flanked by his gun & badge, his rooks or castles, the officer gets out of his car, his knight. Admitting drinking becomes one bishop; smelling alcohol is his other bishop.
Every question he asks is by design, like the use of pawns.
Since the driver is at a strong disadvantage, the driver’s frontline moves are essentially his eight pawns. Therefore, the driver plays by the rules, using these eight (8) moves:
- Upon the DUI officer turning on his overhead lights, the driver quickly finds a safe place to stop.
- Make sure the driver’s side window goes down.
- Place hands on the wheel of the vehicle.
- Hand over license, registration & insurance.
- Try not to speak to the officer. (Say you’re advised by attorneys not to talk.)
- Politely decide against all Field Tests, physical or mechanical. Every FST is optional.
- If arrested for DWI, try to select the urine test. If no such test is offered, select the breath test. Only select the blood test when there is no other option.
- Your last pawn move becomes your strongest play. Find the right DUI lawyer. Your attorney transforms into a queen upon reaching the other side.
About the Author:
Rick Mueller is a Top-Rated San Diego DUI Lawyer specializing in Drunk Driving, DUI & DMV Defense, and has over 25 years of experience. Known as the “DMV Guru,” Rick Mueller dedicates 100% of his law practice to aggressively defending those accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Tags: Drunk Driving, DUI, DWI
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Monday, May 16th, 2011 at
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