Edmond Geary, Attorney at Law
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If you are arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) or APC (actual physical control), can wreck your life in several ways. In fact, if you are arrested and either refuse to take the breath test or fail it, Your license will be revoked for a minimum of 6 months up to 3 years beginning 30 days from your arrest, unless you request a hearing within 15 days of your arrest, and win the hearing. This hearing is with the Department of Public Safety and has nothing to do with the date for your criminal case
Obviously, if you can keep from being arrested by avoiding actions that cause the police to stop you, you'll save yourself a lot of grief. And here are the most common reasons the police will stop you:
- Weaving or Swerving
- Making wide or illegal turns
- Crossing or straddling the centerline
- Following too close
- Braking on and off without cause
- Almost hitting an object or another car
- Driving at night without headlights
- Driving at a slow speed - more than 10 miles under the speed limit
- Coming out from a local tavern
- Expired license tag or safety inspection problems
3 Things you SHOULD do when the police stop you.
• You should be courteous to the arresting officer
• You should get out of the car when asked and show your drivers license, and insurance verification
• You should take the Breathalyzer or intoxilizer test whichever they offer you- if you don't - your refusal can be used against you both at your Department of Public Safety hearing about revoking your drivers license and in your criminal court case. NOTE: You do not have the legal power to demand which test they give you.
2 Things you SHOULD NOT do when the police stop you.
• You should not refuse to be video taped. You cannot refuse to be video taped, but you can and should refuse to take the field sobriety test.
• You should not take the field sobriety test. You are not required to do so and even if the officer tries to use your refusal against you, that is not conclusive because many people who are totally sober can not pass these tests. In these tests, the police ask you to perform certain physical tasks (watching a pen move across your eyes, touching finger to nose) which the police will use to justify your arrest.
The police officer can claim to the jury that you refused the tests because you were afraid you would flunk, but the police officers are not qualified to properly interpret these tests. Your refusal to take any of these tests has no effect on your driver's license. You are not sure the police officer will accurately report the results anyway.
Police routinely look only for and report only signs of intoxication, not sobriety, so they overlook signs of sobriety, may fail to report them, and then may not even remember them because that is not what they were concentrating on, not what they cared about at the time. How could they remember such observations weeks or months later after 99 more arrests if no mention was made in their report?
Okay, you're thinking "Gee, it's too late for me, I've already been arrested and charged. There's nothing I can do. Wrong!
I know of several "secret weapons" to fight your charge...