Obviously the answer is not to drink and drive. But human beings are social animals and we like to share alcoholic beverages with our friends and family. I just want to point out a few things that may help you should you be faced with the prospect of driving after having drunk alcohol.
First, of course: get a ride. Call a friend, take a cab, walk, whatever you have to do. If you are out driving after midnight, the police are just itching for you to give them a reason to pull you over. They are thinking DWI the whole time and are ready and willing to arrest you. Lots of people think that “I just live one block over” is going to set them free. It’s not. Cops get brownie points for making arrests, including of people like you.
If you have been drinking any quantity of alcohol, the first thing you need to remember is that you can say “No”. Not just to the breath test, but to ALL tests. When the cop asks you to follow the tip of his pen with your eyes and your eyes only, say, “With all due respect, officer, I am not going to participate in any of your tests.” He will ask why and attempt to convince you that it’s only a formality, but you should remain firm. He will ask you to walk a straight line and balance on one foot. Politely refuse. After he has asked you a half-dozen times and you have consistently refused, he will probably get mad. You can’t help that. He will say he is going to arrest you anyway. Let him. Be polite and cooperative. Yes, you may spend the night in jail, but your defense attorney will kiss you when he sees the video. But be forewarned. Refusing the breath or blood test will result in a drivers license suspension of 6 months if you have no priors and up to 2 years if you do have priors. You have to weigh the consequences. Take the 6-month suspension to deny the state the evidence they want, or give in and risk being successfully prosecuted. If you are suspended, you can apply for an occupational drivers license. I can do this for you.
The field sobriety tests, as these tests are called, were designed by cops and for cops. They are designed to make you look bad so that the cop can justify his arrest. They have no connection to driving whatsoever. Balancing on one leg requires balancing skills that never come into play as you are seated in your car. And it’s the cop who gets to “interpret” the result in order to make the arrest. These tests are unfair and biased.
Strangely enough, the only test that is offered which is even remotely scientific is the breath test (or blood test). The cop cannot skew the results of these tests in his favor. Of course, if you have just refused all of the roadside tests because you have consumed more than a minimal amount of alcohol, you should refuse this test too.
On the other hand, if you have not been drinking or have, honest to Pete, only had one beer, then take all the tests, including the breath test. The cops will hand you your keys and tell you to have a safe drive home. Women who weigh at or under 100 pounds need to be even more careful. They sometimes can be over the limit with one or two drinks.
If you find yourself in trouble for drinking and driving, I’m an experienced, qualified Criminal Defense Attorney who has been practicing Criminal Defense since 1993. I’ve had my office in Williamson County since 2000.
I have represented hundreds of Driving While Intoxicated cases in my career and I will thoroughly defend you against these charges. I hope you will call or text me at 512-218-7999, or go to my web site www.davehowardlaw.com to contact me.
The above is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Each case is different and an attorney can explain the law to you and assist in defending you based on the particular facts of your case.