Three Of The Most Asked Questions Regarding DUI/DWI Cases
Often times, when I first meet someone, and they realize that I work as a St. Louis DUI lawyer, they will want to know answers to three customary questions. First, they will ask, "When I am stopped for DWI, and the cop wants a breath test sample, is it smart to blow or refuse? Second, they will ask, "My breath test score was over 0.08, that means I am guilty?" Third, they will frequently ask, do I have to submit to an officer's request to perform field sobriety tests. Read on to find out potential answers to these prevailing DUI defense questions.
If I am arrested for DUI/DWI, and the police officer asks me to blow in a breath machine, should I do it?
The honest answer to this question is "it depends". In St. Louis, Missouri, where I have my office, for a first time charge of DWI, a person accused will receive a year's suspension of their license if they refuse the breath test. This license suspension will likely hurt their jobs, their social life, and their overall quality of life. If the accused person blows in the machine and blows over a 0.08, then they will lose their license for a period of time much less than a year. Thus, all other things being equal, in most cases, for first time offenders in Missouri, I think it would be in their interest to blow. This ties into the next part of this article, regarding blowing over (more on that later). The situation becomes somewhat more complicated with multiple offenders. Some lawyers prefer in most or all circumstances that their client always refuse. I suspect they prefer this, because if they had to try a case, they would prefer to try the refusal case. I prefer attacking the test with an expert. In Missouri, a refusal always comes in as evidence of guilt, thus I am not sure a refusal gains a defendant all that much. However, if an expert is hired to combat the breath number, then maybe a breath test can end up HELPING the defense. There is no clear cut answer to this questions, as it depends on a number of factors. However, one thing is clear, if you refuse or if you blow over, a qualified St. Louis DUI lawyer is what you will need to fight the evidence against you, as DUI defense is a fairly specialized area.
My BAC (breath alcohol content) registered over 0.08, this means I am guilty, and I have no way of fighting, right?
Let me be clear, a BAC number over 0.08 does not mean you are always guilty. Do you have any idea how it works that you blow BREATH into a machine and instantly it prints a BLOOD alcohol result? If you don't realize how this works (the officer that stopped you doesn't know either) then how can you or anyone else be satisfied that this test is precise? When you last went to the doctor and he had to know what was in your BLOOD, did he say that if you didn't feel like giving blood, then he would use your breath? Obviously not! Why should this be variant if the government is attempting to mark someone a criminal, hamper their license, and their threaten their liberty? Breath test apply deficient scientific ideas and produce an estimated blood alcohol content. A competent St. Louis DUI lawyer, with the aid of an expert witness, can call impeach the veracity of breath test results. The only person who actually knows about guilty or innocence is...you. You are in the ideal spot to understand if your driving abilities were injured because of alcohol or drugs. The decision to plead or not plead is yours alone; it is not the decision of a state machine.
If the officer asks me to get out of the car and stand on one leg, and walk in a line, etc., do I have to do that?
I recommend refusing all roadside tests. The officer might say that if you successfully complete the tests, then he will allow you to go. There problems with this; in years of working in DUI defense, I have seen an policeman report that a DUI suspect passed all field sobriety test on one single occasion. Additionally, the tests are devised, so you are likely to fail sober. Therefore, if the police ask you to undertake field tests, they have likely determined in their mind that you are getting arrested. Since you are going to be arrested in any case, why provided the government with more evidence. You are not required to execute the roadside tests, so don't. Politely say to the officer, "Sir, I am not coordinated, so I do not want to take these tests. I do want to blow in a portable breath test. If you have completed your investigation, I would like the chance to continue on my way. If you are not finished, then I will remain here only because I do not want further trouble. I would like to call my attorney." You will likely be arrested for asserting your rights. At this point, exercise your right to remain silent, consider taking the breath test, and then call an effective St. Louis DUI lawyer. If you are reading this after you already did the field sobriety tests, don't worry, a good DUI lawyer may still be able to make out a winning DUI defense in court.