Bicycle Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense Lawyer

Common DUI/OWI Myths and Realities

1. If you suck on a penny you will pass the pbt and the police will let you go 1. The police will look at you closely and if they suspect you have something in your mouth (gum, candy, mints, penny etc. they will make sure you take it out before they administer the PBT
2. If the police say you provided a "weak blow" on the PBT it means your blood alcohol level was actually higher 2. The PBT has a mechanisim that clicks to alert the officer to tell a driver when to stop blowing.  The police will tell you to blow until the PBT clicks. 
3. It is always better to refuse to provide blood, or breath if suspected of dui 3. There are many different circumstances including which state your license is from, how much you had to drink, what your were stopped for etc. that come into play in each case.  Sometimes a driver may be better off refusing to provide evidence of his or her b.a.c. and others it would be more harmful to refuse.  Refusals carry additional penalties and under certain circumstances the police can force a blood draw despite a refusal.
4. You have to perform Field Sobriety Tests. 4  Refusing to perform field sobriety tests is not the same as refusing to provide a samle of your blood or breath but your refusal may be used for other reasons like showing probable cause for your arrest.
5. The Police cannot lie to you and if they tell you they will let you go if you take the PBT they have to honor their promise. 5.  Law enforcement is a competitive enterprise and various courts have held that it is legal for police to lie to suspects to obtain evidence and try to get convictions.
6. You always have to consent to a search of your car. 6. Police need probable cause to search your car.  The recent case of Arizona v. Gant affirms the expectation of privacy that a person has in his or her car.  While police used to be able to arrest a person and search the entire car after the suspect was in custody, after Gant, generally police searching incident to arrest must only search the area within a suspect's reach prior to taking him into custody.
7. If you pass all the field sobriety tests the police will let you go. 7. The police know that field sobriety tests are unreliable and therefore if they suspect you are driving while impaired, they will make you take a blood or breath test regardless of whether or not you pass the field sobriety tests.
8.  Once you are arrested and in the back of the police car it is a good idea to smart off to the police, argue with them, or act angry or intoxicated. 8.  Chances are your entire ride to the police station and jail will be recorded on audio and video.  If your case goes to trial a jury may watch how you acted after you were arrested.
9.  If police don't observe you for 20 minutes before your breath test you will automatically win your case. 9.  Automatically winning as a defendant does not exist.  There are always exceptions and Courts often allow evidence to go to the "weight" and not the "admissibliity" and courts frequently find that even when there were evidentiary errors at trial, the errors were "harmless" meaning there will be no second bite at the apple for a defendant.
10. If your b.a.c. is over .08 you have no chance of winning your case/ getting a not guilty verdict. 10.  Many rules come into play in a DUI case including the reason for the stop.  While generally a higher b.a.c. may be harder to win than a lower b.a.c. it is not impossible to win high b.a.c. cases.  Attorney Griessmeyer worked on two cases in California with another lawyer (as a law clerk and associate attorney) one with a .26 b.a.c. where the jury found the defendant not guilty on all charges and another case with a .14 where the jury found the driver was not dui-only that the driver was over .08.  Both cases involved serious felony injuries in addition to the dui charges.
11. If you have a b.a.c. less than .08 you cannot be charged or convicted of dui/ OWI. 11.  The prosecution gets two shots to convict a defendant.   They can either prove that a driver had a .08 or higher at the time of driving- this is called operating with a PAC or prohibited alcohol concentration, or that the driver drove in an unsafe manner as a result of alcohol or drugs.  While the prosecution gets two chances to obtain a guilty verdict, a defendant can only be punished on one of the above, not both.  Note that a refusal is separate from both of the above.
12. You are better of lying to police and saying you only had two beers. 12. It is never a good idea to lie to the police.  You can get another charge of obtructing justice.  If your case goes to trial and you said you only had two beers and your own expert says that is impossible, it does not help.  Generally the best thing a criminal defendant can do prior to and after arrest is exercise their constitutional right to remain silent.
13.  If you only drink a small amount there is nothing to worry about when getting behind the wheel. 13. See number 10 above.  Also, any amount of alcohol affects judgment.  If you refuse to get behind the wheel after drinking even one beer, you are guaranteed that you will not get a dui, or hurt or kill someone as a result of drinking and driving.