The first and most obvious way to avoid a drunk driving arrest is not to drive after drinking.  (Notice I didn’t say, “don’t drive drunk.”  It stands to reason that you shouldn’t drive drunk, but if you want to avoid a DUI arrest, you also should not drive after drinking even if you are not drunk.)

The reality is that a number of people are going to feel that they are unimpaired and will get behind the wheel after having imbibed.

These drivers may even be right about being unimpaired: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation, notes that “virtually all drivers are substantially impaired at 0.08 BAC [blood-alcohol concentration].”  (NHTSA State Legislative Fact Sheet 1996.) Not only does this leave some wiggle room even for people at the 0.08% BAC level, the fact remains that people below that level may not be so unimpaired as to be unable to legally drive.

This article is not meant to encourage you to drive when you have been drinking!  The best way to avoid a DUI (driving under the influence) arrest is not to get behind the wheel after you’ve consumed alcohol.

But simply saying, “The safest course is not to drink, then drive” somewhat begs the question.  Clearly even the insanely-MADD members of society cannot expect that anyone who consumes alcohol will never again get behind the wheel of a car.  Sooner or later, the effect of alcohol wears off.

This post, then, is written to assist those people who, in good faith, believe they are within their legal rights to drive and want to avoid a drunk driving arrest.

Make Sure Your Car’s Registration Is Current

The first and easiest thing to do to avoid being stopped while driving after drinking (and I promise this is the last time I’m saying this here: I did not say “drunk driving”; I am not intending to encourage drinking and driving) is to make sure that your registration is current.  A number of people who I see accused of drunk driving were originally stopped because a bored patrol officer — or perhaps one patrolling near a bar and looking for excuses to stop people — noticed an expired registration tag.

If you’re driving after drinking and your registration tag has expired, you’re tempting fate.  Don’t do it.

Obey All Traffic Laws

The second thing to remember — and perhaps the most common reason people get stopped and then arrested for a DUI — is to obey all traffic laws.  Don’t speed.  (Don’t drive too slow, either!  Officers sometimes stop people for going below the speed limit.)  Don’t make any turns without signaling; don’t even change lanes without signaling.  Remember that making u-turns in some areas (such as a business district or a marked “no u-turns” area) is illegal.

Make Sure Your Car Meets All Legal Requirements To Be On The Road

My personal feeling is that there are too many police officers on the roads.  This particular tip sort of proves the point.  On more than one occasion, I’ve seen a DUI arrest that started with someone who did not have a front license plate.  Ever get stopped by an officer and sit there as he walks to the front of your car?  He’s checking for the front plate.  If his stop was a “bad stop,” but your front plate is missing, he’ll testi-lie that he noticed that on a foggy, pitch-dark night as he approached you from behind.

Similarly, if your windows are tinted, the officer may testi-lie that he thought maybe they were tinted more than the law allows.  Or maybe your rear turn signal, or brake lights, weren’t working.  Perhaps one of the bulbs was out on your rear license plate.

The point is, if you’ve had a drink before getting behind the wheel, it will be even more important that you know every aspect of your car is in working order and doesn’t violate any legal codes.  If you are stopped by a police officer “just because,” you might win your DUI case based on the stop being unconstitutional.  But if the officer can point out a problem like a burned out headlight or some other defect with your car, the stop will almost certainly be ruled constitutionally-okay, even though the officer couldn’t have known about the defect at the time he made the stop.  (This should not be true, but it often is.)

Don’t Tell the Officer You’ve Been Drinking!

It amazes me the number of people who tell a police officer they’ve been drinking.  Doesn’t anyone watch television?  You have a right to remain silent.  Use it!

You don’t want to lie about it.  Leave lying to the police officers.  But just because you’re not going to lie doesn’t mean you have to answer the question.  While your refusal to answer might make you look suspicious, you don’t have to answer.  My fondest wish is for someone to be mistakenly arrested for DUI, but then have the officer arrest that person for refusing to answer the question.  Seems to me that case would be fun to litigate! And if your case goes to trial, telling the officer you had “one drink” right before he arrested you isn’t going to help.

Don’t Take the Coordination Tests

Once you get stopped, if you’ve had even one recent drink, the officer is almost certainly going to claim he smells alcohol on your breath.  He might say this even if he doesn’t smell alcohol on your breath.  Remember, the officer is allowed to lie to you — and, unofficially, he’s also allowed to lie to the court.

Alcohol itself doesn’t actually even have an odor; the odor comes from whatever drink contained alcohol.  Some non-alcoholic drinks, therefore, could “smell like” alcohol to an officer who will stink up his report by saying he smelled the “odor of alcohol on the suspect’s breath.”

Once he has a hunch you’ve been drinking, the officer is going to ask you to take “field sobriety tests,” also known as FSTs.  “Field Sobriety Tests” is a fancy phrase for “coordination tests”; it just sounds more scientific, so it helps convince juries that the officer has “proof” that you were drinking.  Of course, you were already taking a coordination test before you were stopped: you were driving your car, which requires various types of coordination.  Why give the officer more?

Besides, you’ll almost certainly fail.

“We have no idea how well a sober person can perform on the SFST [field tests]. How does age or gender affect performance? How does fatigue or practice affect performance?” [Spurgeon Cole, a forensic scientist and consultant in Georgia] has written. “Without answers to these basic questions, the SFST remain in the same category as tarot cards.”

Cole did his own study, administering the tests to 21 of his students at Clemson University in South Carolina — none of whom had had a drop of alcohol — and then showing the videotape of their performance to a group of officers. They [sic] officers reported they’d arrest nearly half the students.

“And these people had absolutely zero to drink,” Cole said in an interview. “These tests are absolutely worthless.”  (Brigid Schulte, “DUI Hokeypokey: Police, Lawyers And Scientists Engage in a Clumsy Dance Over the Merits Of Roadside Sobriety Tests” (November 15, 2001) The Washington Post.)

Many people think that they must take the coordination tests.  This is not true.  California has no law (yet) that says you must take the test.  When the officer asks if you’ll take the tests, “Just Say No.”  Without the “test results,” it will be that much harder for the officer to testify he had probable cause to belief you were drinking and driving.

Important Note: California law does not (yet) require that you take the “Field Sobriety Tests.”  However, California law does require you to submit to either a breath or blood test for alcohol, once you have been arrested.  The officer will read you an admonition telling you this.  Refusal to take the breath or blood test (or urine, if neither of the others is available) can increase the penalties if you are convicted of DUI.

The Best Way To Avoid a DUI Arrest Is Not To Drive After Drinking

As I noted above, I’m not encouraging you, or anyone else, to drink and drive.  The best way to avoid a DUI arrest is not to drink and drive.  If you’re unsure whether you’re safe to drive, consider waiting awhile longer before driving.

Remember: the life you save may be your own.

What If You Are Arrested?

So you’ve done everything I suggested and got arrested anyway. Or you were arrested before you read this article. Now what?

I am a criminal defense and DUI attorney practicing primarily in the Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Madera counties. See the article I wrote titled “Last Night I Was Arrested For Drunk Driving” on my regional blog.

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free ePamphlet on "How to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer."

77 comments

  1. Interesting discussion. I post this interesting link from Vt article. Local cop pulled by a statie and busted for dui. Initial blow was .07, still busted hihttp://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130722/NEWS02/307220024/Higbee-s-lawyer-Deputy-chief-not-under-influencem for dui, after doing a 2nd test.

  2. Interesting discussion. I post this interesting link from Vt article. Local cop pulled by a statie and busted for dui. Initial blow was .07, still busted hihttp://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130722/NEWS02/307220024/Higbee-s-lawyer-Deputy-chief-not-under-influencem for dui, after doing a 2nd test.

  3. Rick – well you certainly aren’t the expert. An expert would answer my question or answer to my points….

    Not side step them with sharply-intended but empty retorts like this. Nor use the “best defense is a good offense” of your earlier comments.

    Again, all these people posted how unfair police are. Yet, if my experience can be generalized, the question can be narrowed to fairness on people who have been drinking, on judging how much…. not fairness of taking in sober people as though they have been drinking. That’s a worthwhile distinction. That’s what I was adding, and you haven’t posted -anything- in response to that.

    Also, I added to the list the voice of DWI effects. It’s effected me, and others.

    (For other readers to be clear – when I wrote DUI, I mean it interchangeably with DWI since that’s so in my non-internet experiences where I am.)

  4. Rick – well you certainly aren’t the expert. An expert would answer my question or answer to my points….

    Not side step them with sharply-intended but empty retorts like this. Nor use the “best defense is a good offense” of your earlier comments.

    Again, all these people posted how unfair police are. Yet, if my experience can be generalized, the question can be narrowed to fairness on people who have been drinking, on judging how much…. not fairness of taking in sober people as though they have been drinking. That’s a worthwhile distinction. That’s what I was adding, and you haven’t posted -anything- in response to that.

    Also, I added to the list the voice of DWI effects. It’s effected me, and others.

    (For other readers to be clear – when I wrote DUI, I mean it interchangeably with DWI since that’s so in my non-internet experiences where I am.)

  5. Rick – well you certainly aren’t the expert. An expert would answer my question or answer to my points….

    Not side step them with sharply-intended but empty retorts like this. Nor use the “best defense is a good offense” of your earlier comments.

    Again, all these people posted how unfair police are. Yet, if my experience can be generalized, the question can be narrowed to fairness on people who have been drinking, on judging how much…. not fairness of taking in sober people as though they have been drinking. That’s a worthwhile distinction. That’s what I was adding, and you haven’t posted -anything- in response to that.

    Also, I added to the list the voice of DWI effects. It’s effected me, and others.

    (For other readers to be clear – when I wrote DUI, I mean it interchangeably with DWI since that’s so in my non-internet experiences where I am.)

  6. Your reply has nothing to do with what I actually wrote. Once again you’ve projected all sorts of stuff into it. Then bashed about that stuff.

    You still haven’t answered to whether MOST DUI arrests are legit. That innocent people get arrested wasn’t the topic. Of course some do. However, as a defense attorney you speak candidly with your clients enough to get a feel of whether MOST are indeed driving with more alcohol than the law permits. I’ve quite sure most are legit. You haven’t answered that yet. I was interested in your opinion, but you haven’t even tried to give it on THAT question. Winning a case has VERY LITTLE to do with INNOCENCE. Do you really think I can’t see the difference in words & know that you’ve skipped the direct question?

    As for this – it shows you are judgemental of others & read into what they say: You say “”Well, not having drunk & driven does result in not getting pulled over so far in my experience. This guy was pulled over, accused of having drunk & driven. Must be true. I vote guilty.” ”

    That’s completely false BS. Once again, I said that I was NOT writing about not drinking and driving. I was writing about these other posters who comment on how they get tested after a pull over, & how in MY experience I’ve noticed I haven’t. That has ZERO relationship to a SPECIFIC case & what judgement is appropriate in that case. I’m smart enough to know that — to know that cases are individual & depend on the facts presented in those cases. But you aren’t smart enough to know that I know that. Or to even consider the possibility.

    BTW, as a point of how wrong your snap judgements of others (certainly of me) was, I sat on a robbery as alternate. I didn’t get to vote. The 12 found him guilty. But I wouldn’t have because while I think it highly, highly likely he had, I also thought the prosecution hadn’t answered critical questions & their case wasn’t beyond reasonable doubt. The police was the least credible witness in my opinion.

    FYI, I didn’t say that to be tested you have to be pulled over FOR DUI. Merely that I haven’t been tested. I’ve been pulled over many times for all sorts of legit & oddball things (really now – pulled over for not merging to the right lane fast enough by a few feet while in a lane that wasn’t ending?). I’ve never been tested.

    All your postings missed something big. I have been seriously injured. Your compassion has been overwhelming.

  7. Your reply has nothing to do with what I actually wrote. Once again you’ve projected all sorts of stuff into it. Then bashed about that stuff.

    You still haven’t answered to whether MOST DUI arrests are legit. That innocent people get arrested wasn’t the topic. Of course some do. However, as a defense attorney you speak candidly with your clients enough to get a feel of whether MOST are indeed driving with more alcohol than the law permits. I’ve quite sure most are legit. You haven’t answered that yet. I was interested in your opinion, but you haven’t even tried to give it on THAT question. Winning a case has VERY LITTLE to do with INNOCENCE. Do you really think I can’t see the difference in words & know that you’ve skipped the direct question?

    As for this – it shows you are judgemental of others & read into what they say: You say “”Well, not having drunk & driven does result in not getting pulled over so far in my experience. This guy was pulled over, accused of having drunk & driven. Must be true. I vote guilty.” ”

    That’s completely false BS. Once again, I said that I was NOT writing about not drinking and driving. I was writing about these other posters who comment on how they get tested after a pull over, & how in MY experience I’ve noticed I haven’t. That has ZERO relationship to a SPECIFIC case & what judgement is appropriate in that case. I’m smart enough to know that — to know that cases are individual & depend on the facts presented in those cases. But you aren’t smart enough to know that I know that. Or to even consider the possibility.

    BTW, as a point of how wrong your snap judgements of others (certainly of me) was, I sat on a robbery as alternate. I didn’t get to vote. The 12 found him guilty. But I wouldn’t have because while I think it highly, highly likely he had, I also thought the prosecution hadn’t answered critical questions & their case wasn’t beyond reasonable doubt. The police was the least credible witness in my opinion.

    FYI, I didn’t say that to be tested you have to be pulled over FOR DUI. Merely that I haven’t been tested. I’ve been pulled over many times for all sorts of legit & oddball things (really now – pulled over for not merging to the right lane fast enough by a few feet while in a lane that wasn’t ending?). I’ve never been tested.

    All your postings missed something big. I have been seriously injured. Your compassion has been overwhelming.

  8. Your reply has nothing to do with what I actually wrote. Once again you’ve projected all sorts of stuff into it. Then bashed about that stuff.

    You still haven’t answered to whether MOST DUI arrests are legit. That innocent people get arrested wasn’t the topic. Of course some do. However, as a defense attorney you speak candidly with your clients enough to get a feel of whether MOST are indeed driving with more alcohol than the law permits. I’ve quite sure most are legit. You haven’t answered that yet. I was interested in your opinion, but you haven’t even tried to give it on THAT question. Winning a case has VERY LITTLE to do with INNOCENCE. Do you really think I can’t see the difference in words & know that you’ve skipped the direct question?

    As for this – it shows you are judgemental of others & read into what they say: You say “”Well, not having drunk & driven does result in not getting pulled over so far in my experience. This guy was pulled over, accused of having drunk & driven. Must be true. I vote guilty.” ”

    That’s completely false BS. Once again, I said that I was NOT writing about not drinking and driving. I was writing about these other posters who comment on how they get tested after a pull over, & how in MY experience I’ve noticed I haven’t. That has ZERO relationship to a SPECIFIC case & what judgement is appropriate in that case. I’m smart enough to know that — to know that cases are individual & depend on the facts presented in those cases. But you aren’t smart enough to know that I know that. Or to even consider the possibility.

    BTW, as a point of how wrong your snap judgements of others (certainly of me) was, I sat on a robbery as alternate. I didn’t get to vote. The 12 found him guilty. But I wouldn’t have because while I think it highly, highly likely he had, I also thought the prosecution hadn’t answered critical questions & their case wasn’t beyond reasonable doubt. The police was the least credible witness in my opinion.

    FYI, I didn’t say that to be tested you have to be pulled over FOR DUI. Merely that I haven’t been tested. I’ve been pulled over many times for all sorts of legit & oddball things (really now – pulled over for not merging to the right lane fast enough by a few feet while in a lane that wasn’t ending?). I’ve never been tested.

    All your postings missed something big. I have been seriously injured. Your compassion has been overwhelming.

  9. You say “By the way, regarding your comments about avoiding a DUI by not driving after you’ve been drinking, I believe I said that in my article. ”

    There are many posters here. My comments were to the general postings here. Furthermore, I didn’t say that. I only was saying that by contrast to those pulled over, I never have. Not having drunk & driven does result in not getting pulled over so far in my experience. Which is not a comment on DUIs. It’s a comment on the being pulled over issue.

    1. Well, you’re actually quite wrong. People get pulled over all the time for things other than drinking. Some of them get charged with DUI. Many of those cases, but not all of them, are won.

      You really show a surprising lack of knowledge about how things really work, yet you continue to comment as if you know it all.

      Sometimes people charged with crimes admit to something, even when they are innocent, in order to avoid the possibility of ending up with a jury full of people like you appear to be. I can just see you on a jury now: “Well, not having drunk & driven does result in not getting pulled over so far in my experience. This guy was pulled over, accused of having drunk & driven. Must be true. I vote guilty.”

      Happens far too much.

      And in a more serious case, like a robbery, rape — god forbid, a child molestation case — or murder, you see this even more.

      The sad thing is that many of those people who end up essentially taking an offer do so because they are afraid; not because they are guilty. (Out of the last three “offers” my clients accepted, two of them did so despite me advising them to reject the offers because they didn’t want to risk a conviction on more serious charges — I advised rejecting the offer because I was pretty sure we’d win. Ultimately, I could not promise them that we wouldn’t end up with a jury of people who, like you, would say things like “not committing the crime does not result in getting arrested.”)

      So, thank. I really appreciate all the innocent people your type has saddled with a criminal record, because you know, without viewing the evidence, that they wouldn’t have been pulled over, or arrested, if they didn’t do it, and so they must have done it.

  10. You say “By the way, regarding your comments about avoiding a DUI by not driving after you’ve been drinking, I believe I said that in my article. ”

    There are many posters here. My comments were to the general postings here. Furthermore, I didn’t say that. I only was saying that by contrast to those pulled over, I never have. Not having drunk & driven does result in not getting pulled over so far in my experience. Which is not a comment on DUIs. It’s a comment on the being pulled over issue.

  11. You say “By the way, regarding your comments about avoiding a DUI by not driving after you’ve been drinking, I believe I said that in my article. ”

    There are many posters here. My comments were to the general postings here. Furthermore, I didn’t say that. I only was saying that by contrast to those pulled over, I never have. Not having drunk & driven does result in not getting pulled over so far in my experience. Which is not a comment on DUIs. It’s a comment on the being pulled over issue.

  12. Rick – you’ve side stepped my points, not answering to them. Several times, you’ve adjusted my words into something else, then answered to that.

    I said MOST DUIs are justifiable. You haven’t posted anything that would contrast that overriding point I made. Everything else was subpoints to that theme.

    Side note clarification: I wasn’t saying you personally in a particular case keep the police honest. I said that defending DUIs is important even though most are legit charges, because without defenders, the police would have no checks or balances.

  13. Rick – you’ve side stepped my points, not answering to them. Several times, you’ve adjusted my words into something else, then answered to that.

    I said MOST DUIs are justifiable. You haven’t posted anything that would contrast that overriding point I made. Everything else was subpoints to that theme.

    Side note clarification: I wasn’t saying you personally in a particular case keep the police honest. I said that defending DUIs is important even though most are legit charges, because without defenders, the police would have no checks or balances.

  14. Funny how I’ve never been stopped for drunk driving. Never had to take a test. Stopped once by someone suspicious but she just couldn’t detect anything to ask me out of the car. Easy secret. I don’t drive after I’ve been drinking. I barely ever drink to begin with.

    Meanwhile though my life has been changed by alcohol. Late afternoon, a drunk woman hit me. So after the long hospital stay I’m here, wondering if her .09 will hold up. Sounds like it won’t, between her dumb comments & attitude at the police. I’m sure her FST will back up the police’s impressions.

    How many defenses have been of people who WEREN’T impaired? Defense attorney’s play an important role in keeping the police honest, but all this claiming police are violating rights left and right, doesn’t wash. Most DUIs arrests are justifiably to prevent what has me awake in the middle of the night in tears.

    So say you had a beer, don’t say it, but most importantly, don’t think that few drinks is no big deal. At least an hour 1/4 for each drink is your only safe way to go. Then it won’t matter what you do or say. You’ll be sober & you won’t be swaying, or slurring, & the BAC at the station will say so in the long shot it even gets that far.

    So my big question – how often does a .09 get upheld? With a serious accident, and 5 year ago prior plead down to reckless?

    1. An FST will almost always “back up the police’s [sic] impressions.” That’s because it’s nothing more than a complex coordination test where most people will screw up at least one or two things. (One of the funniest stories I ever heard involved a police officer in a DUI case who, under cross examination, was unable to perform the FSTs properly.) In my own opinion, FSTs are of limited utility. Their primary purpose is to justify an arrest, because “any excuse in a storm” is good enough.

      At any rate, regardless of your opinion, police officers do violate the rights of others — and defense attorneys are too often powerless at “keeping the police honest” — and officers are violating rights at an increasing pace, as the courts (and public) more and more often give them a pass. The latest article regarding this mentions a case out of North Carolina, where a police officer stopped a car for violating a traffic law, but the cop was actually wrong: there was nothing illegal about the car. The court said, “Well, that’s okay, though,” apparently because the cop found something illegal in the car afterwards (cocaine).

      So the truth of the matter is that in the United States of America, the United States Constitution is largely irrelevant. There will be a show once in awhile to convince people that it still applies, but it’s almost always the case that this is just what I said: a show.

      As another extremely prominent defense lawyer recently said regarding a situation where one state court of appeal held that certain evidence could not be admitted at trial, and another court of appeal in that same state used the same rule to hold that evidence could be admitted at trial:

      Not that I’m a cynic or anything, but I wonder why two Courts of Appeal came out so different while relying on exactly the same law from the California Supreme Court. It couldn’t be that in Vasquez the defense needed the evidence and in Arauz the prosecution needed it, could it?

      And, of course, that’s exactly what it is.

      By the way, regarding your comments about avoiding a DUI by not driving after you’ve been drinking, I believe I said that in my article.

  15. Funny how I’ve never been stopped for drunk driving. Never had to take a test. Stopped once by someone suspicious but she just couldn’t detect anything to ask me out of the car. Easy secret. I don’t drive after I’ve been drinking. I barely ever drink to begin with.

    Meanwhile though my life has been changed by alcohol. Late afternoon, a drunk woman hit me. So after the long hospital stay I’m here, wondering if her .09 will hold up. Sounds like it won’t, between her dumb comments & attitude at the police. I’m sure her FST will back up the police’s impressions.

    How many defenses have been of people who WEREN’T impaired? Defense attorney’s play an important role in keeping the police honest, but all this claiming police are violating rights left and right, doesn’t wash. Most DUIs arrests are justifiably to prevent what has me awake in the middle of the night in tears.

    So say you had a beer, don’t say it, but most importantly, don’t think that few drinks is no big deal. At least an hour 1/4 for each drink is your only safe way to go. Then it won’t matter what you do or say. You’ll be sober & you won’t be swaying, or slurring, & the BAC at the station will say so in the long shot it even gets that far.

    So my big question – how often does a .09 get upheld? With a serious accident, and 5 year ago prior plead down to reckless?

  16. Funny how I’ve never been stopped for drunk driving. Never had to take a test. Stopped once by someone suspicious but she just couldn’t detect anything to ask me out of the car. Easy secret. I don’t drive after I’ve been drinking. I barely ever drink to begin with.

    Meanwhile though my life has been changed by alcohol. Late afternoon, a drunk woman hit me. So after the long hospital stay I’m here, wondering if her .09 will hold up. Sounds like it won’t, between her dumb comments & attitude at the police. I’m sure her FST will back up the police’s impressions.

    How many defenses have been of people who WEREN’T impaired? Defense attorney’s play an important role in keeping the police honest, but all this claiming police are violating rights left and right, doesn’t wash. Most DUIs arrests are justifiably to prevent what has me awake in the middle of the night in tears.

    So say you had a beer, don’t say it, but most importantly, don’t think that few drinks is no big deal. At least an hour 1/4 for each drink is your only safe way to go. Then it won’t matter what you do or say. You’ll be sober & you won’t be swaying, or slurring, & the BAC at the station will say so in the long shot it even gets that far.

    So my big question – how often does a .09 get upheld? With a serious accident, and 5 year ago prior plead down to reckless?

  17. In re: The police. Some time ago I had been passing through Kentucky and had one stiff drink; left the hotel
    and went looking for food. Did not know the town so went right instead of left and stopped by officer who stated
    “seems as though you were trying to avoid us”. Fact was that I did not know they existed. Anyway took
    field test and blew a .06. Policeman said I was under the limit and then Made me do what I now know to be
    the dumbest****** I had ever done before. He told me to do some odd exercises for about four minutes
    and had me blow again . said I was at .08. Anyway I was of sound mind however stupid and asked for a
    blood test at the station. Stayed the night in their jail and I would have pled not guilty if not for the
    59degree temperature in the jail cell ; Sewerage spewing out of the vent in the middle of the cell;
    sleeping on concrete trying to avoid the sewage; me and 4 others in a 9×9 cell; and me with short sleeves
    and short pants in the spring time. I thought the next morning that I would have to relive that night
    so I plead guilty and went home to georgia.. So now you know what I think of “some” of our finest.
    By the way this was Livingston county about 100 miles from the south border if anyone ever
    decides to stop because of pouring rain, as I did.Signed dumb *** me.

  18. In re: The police. Some time ago I had been passing through Kentucky and had one stiff drink; left the hotel
    and went looking for food. Did not know the town so went right instead of left and stopped by officer who stated
    “seems as though you were trying to avoid us”. Fact was that I did not know they existed. Anyway took
    field test and blew a .06. Policeman said I was under the limit and then Made me do what I now know to be
    the dumbest****** I had ever done before. He told me to do some odd exercises for about four minutes
    and had me blow again . said I was at .08. Anyway I was of sound mind however stupid and asked for a
    blood test at the station. Stayed the night in their jail and I would have pled not guilty if not for the
    59degree temperature in the jail cell ; Sewerage spewing out of the vent in the middle of the cell;
    sleeping on concrete trying to avoid the sewage; me and 4 others in a 9×9 cell; and me with short sleeves
    and short pants in the spring time. I thought the next morning that I would have to relive that night
    so I plead guilty and went home to georgia.. So now you know what I think of “some” of our finest.
    By the way this was Livingston county about 100 miles from the south border if anyone ever
    decides to stop because of pouring rain, as I did.Signed dumb *** me.

  19. There are times when you can get away with it but there are times that you suffer from minor crash or injuries – but there are instance that lives are lost because of drunk drivers’ carelessness. This is why information dissemination regarding the possible legal battles that one will face if she/he is caught with a DUI offense should be more widespread to serve as a warning.

  20. There are times when you can get away with it but there are times that you suffer from minor crash or injuries – but there are instance that lives are lost because of drunk drivers’ carelessness. This is why information dissemination regarding the possible legal battles that one will face if she/he is caught with a DUI offense should be more widespread to serve as a warning.

  21. There are times when you can get away with it but there are times that you suffer from minor crash or injuries – but there are instance that lives are lost because of drunk drivers’ carelessness. This is why information dissemination regarding the possible legal battles that one will face if she/he is caught with a DUI offense should be more widespread to serve as a warning.

  22. This is all very interesting but let me give you folks the cold hard truth. Or at least the truth Texas style.
    When you get pulled over by John Law you are at the mercy of the guy wearing the badge and carrying the gun. He is the boss for this space in time and you will do what he says or find out how well you can abide an ass whipping. Either on the side of the road or back in the jailhouse. By the police or by an inmate. And before you start crying BS don’t think for one second the police can’t arrange a beating inside the lockup. They have people at their disposal that will cut your throat for a half pack of Marlboros.

    For the guy with the DUI card. If you happen to drive thru Texas or just about any other state, I suggest you leave your card at home on the dresser. If not spread some Peanut Butter on it so at least you can taste it when it gets shoved down your throat by Joe Bob.

    The person least interested in your rights is the guy asking the questions and they DO love them some smartass.

    In the end you can tell it to the judge who is more than likely related to the arresting officer.

    Sorry. I have no answers other than you pays your money and you takes your chances.

    HAPPY MOTORING!

    Jeff in East Texas

  23. This is all very interesting but let me give you folks the cold hard truth. Or at least the truth Texas style.
    When you get pulled over by John Law you are at the mercy of the guy wearing the badge and carrying the gun. He is the boss for this space in time and you will do what he says or find out how well you can abide an ass whipping. Either on the side of the road or back in the jailhouse. By the police or by an inmate. And before you start crying BS don’t think for one second the police can’t arrange a beating inside the lockup. They have people at their disposal that will cut your throat for a half pack of Marlboros.

    For the guy with the DUI card. If you happen to drive thru Texas or just about any other state, I suggest you leave your card at home on the dresser. If not spread some Peanut Butter on it so at least you can taste it when it gets shoved down your throat by Joe Bob.

    The person least interested in your rights is the guy asking the questions and they DO love them some smartass.

    In the end you can tell it to the judge who is more than likely related to the arresting officer.

    Sorry. I have no answers other than you pays your money and you takes your chances.

    HAPPY MOTORING!

    Jeff in East Texas

  24. Officers in Ark. have a habit of stopping people who have been drinking, then letting them go only too be stopped a few hundred yards down the highway by other officers, and arrested for dwi, some Judges are starting to find this too be entrapment. All the advice about refusing road side test was good. Recently a friend was stopped, the field intoxiliser showed less than 0.08 the officer wrote him for drunk on highway, driving with a suspended license. Go figure. Jim

  25. Officers in Ark. have a habit of stopping people who have been drinking, then letting them go only too be stopped a few hundred yards down the highway by other officers, and arrested for dwi, some Judges are starting to find this too be entrapment. All the advice about refusing road side test was good. Recently a friend was stopped, the field intoxiliser showed less than 0.08 the officer wrote him for drunk on highway, driving with a suspended license. Go figure. Jim

  26. Officers in Ark. have a habit of stopping people who have been drinking, then letting them go only too be stopped a few hundred yards down the highway by other officers, and arrested for dwi, some Judges are starting to find this too be entrapment. All the advice about refusing road side test was good. Recently a friend was stopped, the field intoxiliser showed less than 0.08 the officer wrote him for drunk on highway, driving with a suspended license. Go figure. Jim

  27. bunch of drunks finding a way not to accept responsibility for your action…look to the government to protect you or bail you out when you screw up….if you had only had a few drinks do the test…if you fail(must likely you will not) but if you do then go to jail but give blood….it will show you were under the legal limit….the case will be thrown out….this forum is for the really drunk folks looking to get off…shame on you…hope to find you wrapped around a tree some night…at least that is one way to get you off the road

  28. bunch of drunks finding a way not to accept responsibility for your action…look to the government to protect you or bail you out when you screw up….if you had only had a few drinks do the test…if you fail(must likely you will not) but if you do then go to jail but give blood….it will show you were under the legal limit….the case will be thrown out….this forum is for the really drunk folks looking to get off…shame on you…hope to find you wrapped around a tree some night…at least that is one way to get you off the road

  29. Got stopped in Wake County, NC for tinted windows (windows passed) which led to sniffing breath, followed by a roadside test (passed) and then searching the vehicle, found open container and then was asked to blow followed by refusal to blow. Got arrested without Miranda Rights, taken downtown, was never asked to give blood or chemical test. Charged with DWI and open container and of course “willful refusal”. Attorney said that i had the right to refuse the road side blow but not the checmical/blood test, which was never offered. Should be an interesting case.

  30. Got stopped in Wake County, NC for tinted windows (windows passed) which led to sniffing breath, followed by a roadside test (passed) and then searching the vehicle, found open container and then was asked to blow followed by refusal to blow. Got arrested without Miranda Rights, taken downtown, was never asked to give blood or chemical test. Charged with DWI and open container and of course “willful refusal”. Attorney said that i had the right to refuse the road side blow but not the checmical/blood test, which was never offered. Should be an interesting case.

  31. Got stopped in Wake County, NC for tinted windows (windows passed) which led to sniffing breath, followed by a roadside test (passed) and then searching the vehicle, found open container and then was asked to blow followed by refusal to blow. Got arrested without Miranda Rights, taken downtown, was never asked to give blood or chemical test. Charged with DWI and open container and of course “willful refusal”. Attorney said that i had the right to refuse the road side blow but not the checmical/blood test, which was never offered. Should be an interesting case.

  32. Having beat several possible dui the record is with four police cars behind me. I might suggest this: 1] before starting yuor car eat peanuts, and have your license,reg,ins,out. 2] when pulled over roll window down four inches. 3] when asked have you had a drink, this is the only critical answer I DONT DRINK. 4] when asked to get out of the car step out lean against the car and look down, no eye contact. 5] when asked to do a test, say no thank you. do not look in the light and keep saying no thank you.6] now the officer must make a decision, if you are arrested i am sure a good lawyer could win the case since there is no evidence. however I must tell you that none of this works if you are falling down drunk, this works for those that may have had a little to much but still have their presence of mind

  33. Having beat several possible dui the record is with four police cars behind me. I might suggest this: 1] before starting yuor car eat peanuts, and have your license,reg,ins,out. 2] when pulled over roll window down four inches. 3] when asked have you had a drink, this is the only critical answer I DONT DRINK. 4] when asked to get out of the car step out lean against the car and look down, no eye contact. 5] when asked to do a test, say no thank you. do not look in the light and keep saying no thank you.6] now the officer must make a decision, if you are arrested i am sure a good lawyer could win the case since there is no evidence. however I must tell you that none of this works if you are falling down drunk, this works for those that may have had a little to much but still have their presence of mind

  34. “That government is best which governs not at all” It looks as though the DUI laws have an underlying goal to stop freedom of assembly. Men have always gathered in the pubs and bars. They drink beer and spirits, complain about the trespasses of the “authorities”. Since I was a small child the police have always been the enemy. They lie, cheat, and steal. To the “law” the 4th and 5th amendments are nonexistent. The use of public safety to rob the people is insane. It is all about collecting revenue that is all. LIARS go to hell!

  35. “That government is best which governs not at all” It looks as though the DUI laws have an underlying goal to stop freedom of assembly. Men have always gathered in the pubs and bars. They drink beer and spirits, complain about the trespasses of the “authorities”. Since I was a small child the police have always been the enemy. They lie, cheat, and steal. To the “law” the 4th and 5th amendments are nonexistent. The use of public safety to rob the people is insane. It is all about collecting revenue that is all. LIARS go to hell!

  36. “That government is best which governs not at all” It looks as though the DUI laws have an underlying goal to stop freedom of assembly. Men have always gathered in the pubs and bars. They drink beer and spirits, complain about the trespasses of the “authorities”. Since I was a small child the police have always been the enemy. They lie, cheat, and steal. To the “law” the 4th and 5th amendments are nonexistent. The use of public safety to rob the people is insane. It is all about collecting revenue that is all. LIARS go to hell!

  37. Pretty much the same thing happens here. If you’ll notice in my post, I mentioned that the police are allowed to lie to you. This is something they do in nearly every encounter with a citizen they wish to question or arrest; in other words, in almost every encounter with a citizen.

    As Scott Greenfield has noted in The Worst Kept Secret: Cops Lie, the lies may be little, or they may be large, but they will lie.

    And the most common lie is to make people think they don’t have rights and must do exactly as they are told in every instance. Cop wants to search your car? A scenario like this has been known to evolve:

    “I’m going to search your car, okay?”

    “No. Why? I didn’t do anything.”

    “If you didn’t do anything, then you have nothing to hide, right? So let me search your car. I can search your car. So, okay?”

    The poor submitizen says, “Ummm…” and sometimes even, “Ok” in response to the officer’s assertion that he can and will search the car.” However, when it later goes to court, the officer will say that the submitizen “consented” to the search. The officer takes the submitizen’s failure to continue to object, or his use of the word “Ok,” which was meant as “Ok, if you say you can search my car, then I can’t stop you,” and uses that for the basis of the officer’s — not the submitizen’s — decision that the submitizen consented.

    I call that “just twist[ing] things as per their whims n fancies as we have no clue of our rights.”

    And this is usually the case with unbridled authority. That’s why the Founders of the United States tried to bridle authority.

  38. Pretty much the same thing happens here. If you’ll notice in my post, I mentioned that the police are allowed to lie to you. This is something they do in nearly every encounter with a citizen they wish to question or arrest; in other words, in almost every encounter with a citizen.

    As Scott Greenfield has noted in The Worst Kept Secret: Cops Lie, the lies may be little, or they may be large, but they will lie.

    And the most common lie is to make people think they don’t have rights and must do exactly as they are told in every instance. Cop wants to search your car? A scenario like this has been known to evolve:

    “I’m going to search your car, okay?”

    “No. Why? I didn’t do anything.”

    “If you didn’t do anything, then you have nothing to hide, right? So let me search your car. I can search your car. So, okay?”

    The poor submitizen says, “Ummm…” and sometimes even, “Ok” in response to the officer’s assertion that he can and will search the car.” However, when it later goes to court, the officer will say that the submitizen “consented” to the search. The officer takes the submitizen’s failure to continue to object, or his use of the word “Ok,” which was meant as “Ok, if you say you can search my car, then I can’t stop you,” and uses that for the basis of the officer’s — not the submitizen’s — decision that the submitizen consented.

    I call that “just twist[ing] things as per their whims n fancies as we have no clue of our rights.”

    And this is usually the case with unbridled authority. That’s why the Founders of the United States tried to bridle authority.

  39. I should say it was quite interesting and informative. Am very impressed with citizens rights in your country. Its making me think how much of the right do i know from my country[India]. I should say cops in our country take us for a ride and just twist things as per their whims n fancies as we have no clue of our rights. I can only say – no matter what you guys are still from a privileged lot.

  40. I should say it was quite interesting and informative. Am very impressed with citizens rights in your country. Its making me think how much of the right do i know from my country[India]. I should say cops in our country take us for a ride and just twist things as per their whims n fancies as we have no clue of our rights. I can only say – no matter what you guys are still from a privileged lot.

  41. I should say it was quite interesting and informative. Am very impressed with citizens rights in your country. Its making me think how much of the right do i know from my country[India]. I should say cops in our country take us for a ride and just twist things as per their whims n fancies as we have no clue of our rights. I can only say – no matter what you guys are still from a privileged lot.

  42. Folks,

    First off, “Do NOT drive druk”. Come on, you know how drunk you are…despite the fact that you MAY be able to drive or admit to your friends and famly, you still know yourself. Before you get your hands on that wheel ask yourself, Is it worth,
    a. getting arrested?
    b. paying high insurance premiums for years to come?
    c. loosing your license?
    d. risking your own life, your family, your own reputation, car apart from other’s?
    e. Is it enough challenging (that you can drive normally), to prove yourself wrong utimately?

    Here is my experience…

    I have been stopped by an officer around 3 AM in the morning. I am night owl and yes, I admit drinking a few beers that night…but it was all before 1 AM that morning…I was very sober…It was 3 AM I am tired and a bit sleepy.

    Anyways, I have not read any DUI forums before and didn’t know exactly how to react.

    The officer approached me after stopping me and questioned
    1. “what are you doing?”. Well, I heard it as how you doing? and responded “I am ok”. In response, the officer became all bossy and he goes, thats not what I asked. Well, “What are you doing?” should not be a question (for you cops reading out there).

    I believe 100% that I was all sober and didnt have broken tail lamp or an expired license plate…

    I had taken taken 2 breathalyzer tests, one before (where the officer didnt think that I was trying my best to blow into the pipe). I took those tests
    1. Looking at the officers fingers while it moves left and right (don’t exactly know what that is called)
    2. Standing on one feet and start counting at the officers mercy to stop
    3. Walk 9 steps touching foot and toe alternately with my both legs, turn around and do the same.

    I tried those tests later on at home and couldnt do it right, without drinking a sip of alchohol and couldn’t do it all correct.

    Anyways, the officer was kind enough to let me go by saying “I was little under the acceptable limit” and asked me not to drink anymore and go home directly.

    I think, the officer was really doing his mere duty that day. But, I have a few requests to all officers out there,
    1.you all have enough experience to determine who is “DRUNK” and who is not…and please do not follow the same old-school insane rules, perform the same unreasonable tests to determine if one is drunk or NOT, unless you have to.
    2. Do not be bossy, you may have 101 rights and reasons to believe that, being a cop gives all the supremacy in the world. People have their own rights and deserve them.
    3. Never stop no driver (unless, you have to) especially if you are bored patroling.
    4. Know that merely 95% of the people are genuinely not drunk, especially when they can drive.
    5. Understand, people generally like you all. You keep us safe and sound. Having said that, dont over do your job. Have a heart too. It need not always the old-school rules, be dynamic and judgemental. Its ok, if you stopped a wrong driver…you dont have to prove them, wrong 😉 some times you can be too ;-). Ask yourself, how may times you may have drove over legal speed limits, without a compelling reason.
    6. Is it worth, challenging defence attorneys to ultimately know that their client is “Not Guilty”?
    7. If their license plate tells you, their past. Do NOT stop them unless you have a compelling reason to…, Is it not ok, if they are 5 miles over the posted speed limits
    8. Be a good cop, work in the interest of the people, do not judge a person based on their color,race,the type of car they drive. Ofcourse, what they do will tell you the most of it.

    My intention with this post is to create a happy medium between the cops and people, where their paths may cross and No offence to any defence attorneys (for any lost business ;-))

    Finally, the questions, I had were
    1. How do not agitate a cop by not answering a question, which may obviously work against you.
    2. How to get a hold of an attorney in the middle of the night (I am guessing 80-90%) of the people may not have a designated attorney if you resist arrest or not admit drinking. (Attorneys out there, please feel free to earn business with this quetion ;-))
    3. Does one need to answer, what they do for a living or where they are coming from and going to?
    4. Can one tell the officer clearly that i am tired and sleepy and request to let go (When fairly confident that they are sober)?

    Well, lets start here and I think this will be a starting point on the debate to come…

    later folks,

    -Sun

  43. Folks,

    First off, “Do NOT drive druk”. Come on, you know how drunk you are…despite the fact that you MAY be able to drive or admit to your friends and famly, you still know yourself. Before you get your hands on that wheel ask yourself, Is it worth,
    a. getting arrested?
    b. paying high insurance premiums for years to come?
    c. loosing your license?
    d. risking your own life, your family, your own reputation, car apart from other’s?
    e. Is it enough challenging (that you can drive normally), to prove yourself wrong utimately?

    Here is my experience…

    I have been stopped by an officer around 3 AM in the morning. I am night owl and yes, I admit drinking a few beers that night…but it was all before 1 AM that morning…I was very sober…It was 3 AM I am tired and a bit sleepy.

    Anyways, I have not read any DUI forums before and didn’t know exactly how to react.

    The officer approached me after stopping me and questioned
    1. “what are you doing?”. Well, I heard it as how you doing? and responded “I am ok”. In response, the officer became all bossy and he goes, thats not what I asked. Well, “What are you doing?” should not be a question (for you cops reading out there).

    I believe 100% that I was all sober and didnt have broken tail lamp or an expired license plate…

    I had taken taken 2 breathalyzer tests, one before (where the officer didnt think that I was trying my best to blow into the pipe). I took those tests
    1. Looking at the officers fingers while it moves left and right (don’t exactly know what that is called)
    2. Standing on one feet and start counting at the officers mercy to stop
    3. Walk 9 steps touching foot and toe alternately with my both legs, turn around and do the same.

    I tried those tests later on at home and couldnt do it right, without drinking a sip of alchohol and couldn’t do it all correct.

    Anyways, the officer was kind enough to let me go by saying “I was little under the acceptable limit” and asked me not to drink anymore and go home directly.

    I think, the officer was really doing his mere duty that day. But, I have a few requests to all officers out there,
    1.you all have enough experience to determine who is “DRUNK” and who is not…and please do not follow the same old-school insane rules, perform the same unreasonable tests to determine if one is drunk or NOT, unless you have to.
    2. Do not be bossy, you may have 101 rights and reasons to believe that, being a cop gives all the supremacy in the world. People have their own rights and deserve them.
    3. Never stop no driver (unless, you have to) especially if you are bored patroling.
    4. Know that merely 95% of the people are genuinely not drunk, especially when they can drive.
    5. Understand, people generally like you all. You keep us safe and sound. Having said that, dont over do your job. Have a heart too. It need not always the old-school rules, be dynamic and judgemental. Its ok, if you stopped a wrong driver…you dont have to prove them, wrong 😉 some times you can be too ;-). Ask yourself, how may times you may have drove over legal speed limits, without a compelling reason.
    6. Is it worth, challenging defence attorneys to ultimately know that their client is “Not Guilty”?
    7. If their license plate tells you, their past. Do NOT stop them unless you have a compelling reason to…, Is it not ok, if they are 5 miles over the posted speed limits
    8. Be a good cop, work in the interest of the people, do not judge a person based on their color,race,the type of car they drive. Ofcourse, what they do will tell you the most of it.

    My intention with this post is to create a happy medium between the cops and people, where their paths may cross and No offence to any defence attorneys (for any lost business ;-))

    Finally, the questions, I had were
    1. How do not agitate a cop by not answering a question, which may obviously work against you.
    2. How to get a hold of an attorney in the middle of the night (I am guessing 80-90%) of the people may not have a designated attorney if you resist arrest or not admit drinking. (Attorneys out there, please feel free to earn business with this quetion ;-))
    3. Does one need to answer, what they do for a living or where they are coming from and going to?
    4. Can one tell the officer clearly that i am tired and sleepy and request to let go (When fairly confident that they are sober)?

    Well, lets start here and I think this will be a starting point on the debate to come…

    later folks,

    -Sun

  44. Tom, first, thanks for reading and caring enough to comment.

    As to your suggestion, that would have been a fantastic title if my goal had been to keep people from reading the article. That not being the goal, I selected a title I thought would attract more readers.

  45. Tom, first, thanks for reading and caring enough to comment.

    As to your suggestion, that would have been a fantastic title if my goal had been to keep people from reading the article. That not being the goal, I selected a title I thought would attract more readers.

  46. Tom, first, thanks for reading and caring enough to comment.

    As to your suggestion, that would have been a fantastic title if my goal had been to keep people from reading the article. That not being the goal, I selected a title I thought would attract more readers.

  47. Sometimes a question isn’t only a legal question, but a moral one. There’s good guidance hidden in here, but it would have followed better from a title that’s useful to our lives. Like “How to Avoid Killing Someone After Dinner”. If more people could follow the two nonlegal pieces of advice you gave — don’t drive after drinking, and obey all traffic laws — we’d be a lot better off. Come on guys, keep your eyes on the prize here.

  48. Sometimes a question isn’t only a legal question, but a moral one. There’s good guidance hidden in here, but it would have followed better from a title that’s useful to our lives. Like “How to Avoid Killing Someone After Dinner”. If more people could follow the two nonlegal pieces of advice you gave — don’t drive after drinking, and obey all traffic laws — we’d be a lot better off. Come on guys, keep your eyes on the prize here.

  49. To: The Police

    Interesting that you see the dissemination of knowledge as a threat.

    I suspect “You have the right to remain silent” also falls into your perception of counterproductive information.

    In reality – “The police are permitted to lie to you and will use anything you say or do to convict you” – would be more truthful . . . but you already know that, don’t you. Best thing about being a cop is that you know how to deal with cops.

    Think of this site as the moral equivalent to an experienced Sargent telling a new patrolman to wrap his flashlight with tape.

  50. To: The Police

    Interesting that you see the dissemination of knowledge as a threat.

    I suspect “You have the right to remain silent” also falls into your perception of counterproductive information.

    In reality – “The police are permitted to lie to you and will use anything you say or do to convict you” – would be more truthful . . . but you already know that, don’t you. Best thing about being a cop is that you know how to deal with cops.

    Think of this site as the moral equivalent to an experienced Sargent telling a new patrolman to wrap his flashlight with tape.

  51. To: The Police

    Interesting that you see the dissemination of knowledge as a threat.

    I suspect “You have the right to remain silent” also falls into your perception of counterproductive information.

    In reality – “The police are permitted to lie to you and will use anything you say or do to convict you” – would be more truthful . . . but you already know that, don’t you. Best thing about being a cop is that you know how to deal with cops.

    Think of this site as the moral equivalent to an experienced Sargent telling a new patrolman to wrap his flashlight with tape.

  52. Joe, Good story!
    What’s this document you mentioned, it sounds useful, especially for those who are bad talkers under stress, and this sounds pretty stressful.
    I’d hate to be in this kind of situation, and avoid driving in the evening for this very reason, but better safe than sorry.

  53. Joe, Good story!
    What’s this document you mentioned, it sounds useful, especially for those who are bad talkers under stress, and this sounds pretty stressful.
    I’d hate to be in this kind of situation, and avoid driving in the evening for this very reason, but better safe than sorry.

  54. Being a lawyer myself I rather enjoy coming upon DUI checkpoints and refusing to answer any questions at all. I was in South Carolina once and came upon a DUI checkpoint and refused to roll down the winter – the cop asked me “Had anything to drink tonight?”

    I handed him my DUI stop card – which stated – first line – “I exercise my right to remain silent.”

    Got pulled over. Why? We know why.

    “Exit the car please. ”

    I opened the door and looked down – his foot was right where I expected it to be – where a normal person would place their foot getting out of the car – epxected testimony: “he stumbled getting out of the car”

    I avoided that one. Exited the vehicle. Went to the rear so my gait and demeanor was on their camera.

    Light shined in eye – eyes closed. Mouth shut – exhale though nose. I could see the little string of lights on the alcohol detector on the flashlight.

    Cop then says: “I am going to ask you to perform the “standard field sobriety test, consisting of three tests, yada yada yada”

    He is now standing about 6 feet away – as training – then I say – LOUDLY and clearly for the camera: “I am exercising my right to remain silent. I have already told you that. Now I am exercising my right against incrimination – please read the document I handed you.”

    He comes up real close and says “Why you talking so loud?” I remained silent. This time staring him down.

    “Do this test” I remain mute. “Do this now” No action. “Now this one please” – I remain standing.

    “Whats your problem? You got something to hide?” I love that line from cops – well, “if this was not part of an incriminating sequence of events you would not be asking the question – would you?” But then I’d have to say something – and I always remember that case from Connecticut where a guy was too smart to be a cop.

    He goes back to his supervisor – who asks him “Whats that all about?” ‘Guy invoking his rights.’ “What?” ‘Yeah, won’t say anything. won’t do the tests’
    Why, he drunk?” ‘Don’t think so.’ “So whats his problem.” ‘a guy from up north, probably a lawyer,’ “Well, if he ain’t drunk why you wasting your time?” ‘don’t like people like that.’

    And there is was. I tried to get a copy of the tape under FOIA but then claimed it was under a police investagory exception. I then filed a rights violation complaint and used the state case number in the subpeona and less than 30 days later they claimed it was destroyed – yeah, I bet it was. And yeah, neither officer remembered the stop. I find that impossible to believe.

    So he comes up to me, hands me back my DL, reg and insurance info and tells me that ‘cooperation is generally the best course down here.” I could not stay silent any longer. “Yes, officer, it usually is until my rights are violated, like they were here tonight. Good night.” He tried to trip me getting back into the car too.

  55. Being a lawyer myself I rather enjoy coming upon DUI checkpoints and refusing to answer any questions at all. I was in South Carolina once and came upon a DUI checkpoint and refused to roll down the winter – the cop asked me “Had anything to drink tonight?”

    I handed him my DUI stop card – which stated – first line – “I exercise my right to remain silent.”

    Got pulled over. Why? We know why.

    “Exit the car please. ”

    I opened the door and looked down – his foot was right where I expected it to be – where a normal person would place their foot getting out of the car – epxected testimony: “he stumbled getting out of the car”

    I avoided that one. Exited the vehicle. Went to the rear so my gait and demeanor was on their camera.

    Light shined in eye – eyes closed. Mouth shut – exhale though nose. I could see the little string of lights on the alcohol detector on the flashlight.

    Cop then says: “I am going to ask you to perform the “standard field sobriety test, consisting of three tests, yada yada yada”

    He is now standing about 6 feet away – as training – then I say – LOUDLY and clearly for the camera: “I am exercising my right to remain silent. I have already told you that. Now I am exercising my right against incrimination – please read the document I handed you.”

    He comes up real close and says “Why you talking so loud?” I remained silent. This time staring him down.

    “Do this test” I remain mute. “Do this now” No action. “Now this one please” – I remain standing.

    “Whats your problem? You got something to hide?” I love that line from cops – well, “if this was not part of an incriminating sequence of events you would not be asking the question – would you?” But then I’d have to say something – and I always remember that case from Connecticut where a guy was too smart to be a cop.

    He goes back to his supervisor – who asks him “Whats that all about?” ‘Guy invoking his rights.’ “What?” ‘Yeah, won’t say anything. won’t do the tests’
    Why, he drunk?” ‘Don’t think so.’ “So whats his problem.” ‘a guy from up north, probably a lawyer,’ “Well, if he ain’t drunk why you wasting your time?” ‘don’t like people like that.’

    And there is was. I tried to get a copy of the tape under FOIA but then claimed it was under a police investagory exception. I then filed a rights violation complaint and used the state case number in the subpeona and less than 30 days later they claimed it was destroyed – yeah, I bet it was. And yeah, neither officer remembered the stop. I find that impossible to believe.

    So he comes up to me, hands me back my DL, reg and insurance info and tells me that ‘cooperation is generally the best course down here.” I could not stay silent any longer. “Yes, officer, it usually is until my rights are violated, like they were here tonight. Good night.” He tried to trip me getting back into the car too.

  56. Being a lawyer myself I rather enjoy coming upon DUI checkpoints and refusing to answer any questions at all. I was in South Carolina once and came upon a DUI checkpoint and refused to roll down the winter – the cop asked me “Had anything to drink tonight?”

    I handed him my DUI stop card – which stated – first line – “I exercise my right to remain silent.”

    Got pulled over. Why? We know why.

    “Exit the car please. ”

    I opened the door and looked down – his foot was right where I expected it to be – where a normal person would place their foot getting out of the car – epxected testimony: “he stumbled getting out of the car”

    I avoided that one. Exited the vehicle. Went to the rear so my gait and demeanor was on their camera.

    Light shined in eye – eyes closed. Mouth shut – exhale though nose. I could see the little string of lights on the alcohol detector on the flashlight.

    Cop then says: “I am going to ask you to perform the “standard field sobriety test, consisting of three tests, yada yada yada”

    He is now standing about 6 feet away – as training – then I say – LOUDLY and clearly for the camera: “I am exercising my right to remain silent. I have already told you that. Now I am exercising my right against incrimination – please read the document I handed you.”

    He comes up real close and says “Why you talking so loud?” I remained silent. This time staring him down.

    “Do this test” I remain mute. “Do this now” No action. “Now this one please” – I remain standing.

    “Whats your problem? You got something to hide?” I love that line from cops – well, “if this was not part of an incriminating sequence of events you would not be asking the question – would you?” But then I’d have to say something – and I always remember that case from Connecticut where a guy was too smart to be a cop.

    He goes back to his supervisor – who asks him “Whats that all about?” ‘Guy invoking his rights.’ “What?” ‘Yeah, won’t say anything. won’t do the tests’
    Why, he drunk?” ‘Don’t think so.’ “So whats his problem.” ‘a guy from up north, probably a lawyer,’ “Well, if he ain’t drunk why you wasting your time?” ‘don’t like people like that.’

    And there is was. I tried to get a copy of the tape under FOIA but then claimed it was under a police investagory exception. I then filed a rights violation complaint and used the state case number in the subpeona and less than 30 days later they claimed it was destroyed – yeah, I bet it was. And yeah, neither officer remembered the stop. I find that impossible to believe.

    So he comes up to me, hands me back my DL, reg and insurance info and tells me that ‘cooperation is generally the best course down here.” I could not stay silent any longer. “Yes, officer, it usually is until my rights are violated, like they were here tonight. Good night.” He tried to trip me getting back into the car too.

  57. I wrote the previous comment before reading Rick’s reparte to “The Police” comment – he covers some of the same points much better. Touche.

  58. I wrote the previous comment before reading Rick’s reparte to “The Police” comment – he covers some of the same points much better. Touche.

  59. I must say I am astonished to read the comment by “The Police” here. There are so many things wrong with that comment I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll go from the beginning. First, when one is stopped in a vehicle by law enforcement, it is a given that there is an adversarial situation involved: the police are hired to identify possible law breakers, gather evidence, and help convict. Police rarely stop people to help them on their way.

    Then, to go on to say that a “free” article educating citizens about their Constitutional rights and the law, to which they will be held in a Court of law, should not be “information out in the open”, is insane. Citizen’s rights and the law should be kept secret from them, so they can be tricked into violating it, or being convicted? A “reflection of the the direction this country is going”? My take on it is the average person has only a foggy or incorrect idea of what his or her rights are, and that law enforcement routinely exploit this lack of knowledge to sidestep virtually every Amendment in the Bill of Rights. For example, Fourth Amendment case law is so riddled with exceptions, especially when vehicles are involved, that the average joe almost always waives them when in the presence of police. My feelings on the matter are that, given the gravity of potential criminal prosecution, everyone should have to pass a civics class in high school that covers practical aspects of the law and one’s Constitutional rights. It’s more a reflection on the direction that the country is going that such education is hard to obtain, and police feel the way portrayed in the comment (if in fact written by a real law-enforcement officer).

    Saying that you have not helped yourself at all by refusing to answer questions is relative: maybe with respect to the officer at the scene, it is not helpful, but where it really counts is in Court, and from that perspective you are almost certainly better off not admitting guilt or saying anything. No one wants to be the victim of an impaired driver, but there are so many other reasons someone might be stopped and accused of being impaired when they are not that one should exercise one’s rights. I think the admission by “The Police” that they have generally made up their minds before they actually perform any tests is telling. People who have just broken up with their significant other and have been crying might have glassy, bloodshot eyes, and I know that I am so nervous when I am stopped (because of previous bad interactions) I probably am shaking and acting pretty dumb when I attempt to retrieve my license and registration. These signs do not necessarily mean one is drunk. If an officer has already made up his/her mind, all they will tend to see is “evidence” consistent with that conclusion – I’ve seen it a more than one police report. And what comes to pass when an officer testifies that someone exercised their Constitutional/legal rights?

    Rights exist to protect the innocent, even at the cost of hindering proving guilt. It is not the job of law-enforcement at the scene to pass judgment, that is the role of the Courts. Keeping citizens in the dark about the law and their rights in order to facilitate arresting people who might be innocent might make law-enforcement’s job easier, but it is not the principle on which those rights and the Country are founded.

    Enough already. Made me think – have to admit.

  60. I must say I am astonished to read the comment by “The Police” here. There are so many things wrong with that comment I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll go from the beginning. First, when one is stopped in a vehicle by law enforcement, it is a given that there is an adversarial situation involved: the police are hired to identify possible law breakers, gather evidence, and help convict. Police rarely stop people to help them on their way.

    Then, to go on to say that a “free” article educating citizens about their Constitutional rights and the law, to which they will be held in a Court of law, should not be “information out in the open”, is insane. Citizen’s rights and the law should be kept secret from them, so they can be tricked into violating it, or being convicted? A “reflection of the the direction this country is going”? My take on it is the average person has only a foggy or incorrect idea of what his or her rights are, and that law enforcement routinely exploit this lack of knowledge to sidestep virtually every Amendment in the Bill of Rights. For example, Fourth Amendment case law is so riddled with exceptions, especially when vehicles are involved, that the average joe almost always waives them when in the presence of police. My feelings on the matter are that, given the gravity of potential criminal prosecution, everyone should have to pass a civics class in high school that covers practical aspects of the law and one’s Constitutional rights. It’s more a reflection on the direction that the country is going that such education is hard to obtain, and police feel the way portrayed in the comment (if in fact written by a real law-enforcement officer).

    Saying that you have not helped yourself at all by refusing to answer questions is relative: maybe with respect to the officer at the scene, it is not helpful, but where it really counts is in Court, and from that perspective you are almost certainly better off not admitting guilt or saying anything. No one wants to be the victim of an impaired driver, but there are so many other reasons someone might be stopped and accused of being impaired when they are not that one should exercise one’s rights. I think the admission by “The Police” that they have generally made up their minds before they actually perform any tests is telling. People who have just broken up with their significant other and have been crying might have glassy, bloodshot eyes, and I know that I am so nervous when I am stopped (because of previous bad interactions) I probably am shaking and acting pretty dumb when I attempt to retrieve my license and registration. These signs do not necessarily mean one is drunk. If an officer has already made up his/her mind, all they will tend to see is “evidence” consistent with that conclusion – I’ve seen it a more than one police report. And what comes to pass when an officer testifies that someone exercised their Constitutional/legal rights?

    Rights exist to protect the innocent, even at the cost of hindering proving guilt. It is not the job of law-enforcement at the scene to pass judgment, that is the role of the Courts. Keeping citizens in the dark about the law and their rights in order to facilitate arresting people who might be innocent might make law-enforcement’s job easier, but it is not the principle on which those rights and the Country are founded.

    Enough already. Made me think – have to admit.

  61. I must say I am astonished to read the comment by “The Police” here. There are so many things wrong with that comment I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll go from the beginning. First, when one is stopped in a vehicle by law enforcement, it is a given that there is an adversarial situation involved: the police are hired to identify possible law breakers, gather evidence, and help convict. Police rarely stop people to help them on their way.

    Then, to go on to say that a “free” article educating citizens about their Constitutional rights and the law, to which they will be held in a Court of law, should not be “information out in the open”, is insane. Citizen’s rights and the law should be kept secret from them, so they can be tricked into violating it, or being convicted? A “reflection of the the direction this country is going”? My take on it is the average person has only a foggy or incorrect idea of what his or her rights are, and that law enforcement routinely exploit this lack of knowledge to sidestep virtually every Amendment in the Bill of Rights. For example, Fourth Amendment case law is so riddled with exceptions, especially when vehicles are involved, that the average joe almost always waives them when in the presence of police. My feelings on the matter are that, given the gravity of potential criminal prosecution, everyone should have to pass a civics class in high school that covers practical aspects of the law and one’s Constitutional rights. It’s more a reflection on the direction that the country is going that such education is hard to obtain, and police feel the way portrayed in the comment (if in fact written by a real law-enforcement officer).

    Saying that you have not helped yourself at all by refusing to answer questions is relative: maybe with respect to the officer at the scene, it is not helpful, but where it really counts is in Court, and from that perspective you are almost certainly better off not admitting guilt or saying anything. No one wants to be the victim of an impaired driver, but there are so many other reasons someone might be stopped and accused of being impaired when they are not that one should exercise one’s rights. I think the admission by “The Police” that they have generally made up their minds before they actually perform any tests is telling. People who have just broken up with their significant other and have been crying might have glassy, bloodshot eyes, and I know that I am so nervous when I am stopped (because of previous bad interactions) I probably am shaking and acting pretty dumb when I attempt to retrieve my license and registration. These signs do not necessarily mean one is drunk. If an officer has already made up his/her mind, all they will tend to see is “evidence” consistent with that conclusion – I’ve seen it a more than one police report. And what comes to pass when an officer testifies that someone exercised their Constitutional/legal rights?

    Rights exist to protect the innocent, even at the cost of hindering proving guilt. It is not the job of law-enforcement at the scene to pass judgment, that is the role of the Courts. Keeping citizens in the dark about the law and their rights in order to facilitate arresting people who might be innocent might make law-enforcement’s job easier, but it is not the principle on which those rights and the Country are founded.

    Enough already. Made me think – have to admit.

  62. It appears you have misunderstood the point of my post, which, ironically, only reinforces what I’ve said. In particular, you missed the part where I said that the best way to avoid a drunk driving arrest is to avoid drinking and driving.

    The article was aimed at people who believe that they are not intoxicated and are therefore not breaking the law, but find themselves stopped by an officer who (like you) jumps to conclusions.

    I am grateful for your claim, however, that police officers have already decided whether to arrest someone BEFORE giving them the test. Among other things, I’ll be happy to include your note in the list of resources I utilize when arguing that the police have committed Miranda violations because they have not mirandized people by the time they reach the point at which you’ve stated the decision to arrest has already been made. 😉

    As for the officer testifying to “all your refusals,” you need a pretty dumb defense attorney and a judge willing to ignore the law before an officer is going to be allowed to testify to the exercise of constitutional rights.

    But then, that’s why we have defense attorneys: to make sure people’s rights are protected. So, again, I thank you for your comment.

    Finally, my decisions of the proper way to advise people are not dependent upon my own personal losses. Anyone who believes that the Constitution only means something until you’ve suffered a loss because of it doesn’t deserve to live in this country. More than that, he or she is a disgrace to any uniform worn within its boundaries.

  63. It appears you have misunderstood the point of my post, which, ironically, only reinforces what I’ve said. In particular, you missed the part where I said that the best way to avoid a drunk driving arrest is to avoid drinking and driving.

    The article was aimed at people who believe that they are not intoxicated and are therefore not breaking the law, but find themselves stopped by an officer who (like you) jumps to conclusions.

    I am grateful for your claim, however, that police officers have already decided whether to arrest someone BEFORE giving them the test. Among other things, I’ll be happy to include your note in the list of resources I utilize when arguing that the police have committed Miranda violations because they have not mirandized people by the time they reach the point at which you’ve stated the decision to arrest has already been made. 😉

    As for the officer testifying to “all your refusals,” you need a pretty dumb defense attorney and a judge willing to ignore the law before an officer is going to be allowed to testify to the exercise of constitutional rights.

    But then, that’s why we have defense attorneys: to make sure people’s rights are protected. So, again, I thank you for your comment.

    Finally, my decisions of the proper way to advise people are not dependent upon my own personal losses. Anyone who believes that the Constitution only means something until you’ve suffered a loss because of it doesn’t deserve to live in this country. More than that, he or she is a disgrace to any uniform worn within its boundaries.

  64. I love how this article makes the police into an adversary. As a police officer, I find this article to be very disturbing and a true reflection of the direction this country is going. Although skewed by the left coast perspective, it is still very troubling to see such an article given for free. I understand a defense attorney who represents a client for impaired driving; however I do not understand the concept of trying to put this information out in the open. I remember responding to my very first traffic fatality and looking into the dead eyes of an innocent victim. The death was caused by the irresponsible actions of a drunk driver. I first want to tell you that if you get pulled over and refuse everything the officer ask then you have not helped yourself at all. As an impaired driver you will exhibit involuntary actions that will give you away. Many impaired drivers will have glassy eyes as a result of the depressant effect on the central nervous system. The glassy eyes simply refer to a lack of blinking and movement of the eye similar to as if the eye was simply made of glass. Further, the impaired driver will probably be emitting a smell of an alcoholic beverage (notice I did not say just alcohol). The one task that you are required to perform is to retrieve your driver’s license and this will tell a lot about your impairment as well. I have arrested many impaired drivers and not one time has anyone blown under a .08. I would also say that the lawyer is incorrect in his belief that a Breathalyzer can display an incorrect result. The device North Carolina uses is an Intoximeter EC/IR II which combines the technology of a electrochemical fuel cell with infrared technology to provide an amazing machine. High priced defense experts have all failed to debunk the reliability of the instrument. I would also like to go back to the poor advice of refusing everything. If you refuse all roadside tests, you can absolutely forget about the possibility of the officer allowing you to call someone to pick you up in lieu of an arrest. The officer will also testify to the fact of your refusals. Blowing into a roadside alcohol-screening device can actually help you. By the time you get to that point, the officer has already made up his mind on your impairment. If you blow into the device and register a .08 or .07 result, the officer will more than likely allow you to call someone to pick you up. You need to realize that depending on your situation, your blood alcohol concentration may be on the rise and you could register a .09 by the time you get to the official testing site. By refusing the alcohol screening test, you ruined your chance of a deferred arrest and helped nothing. There is no officer in the world that uses an alcohol screening device as sole probable cause for an arrest. If you read this advice and practice the advice in this article you will most certainly solve nothing. The only advice that makes any sense is DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE! I assure you that the writer of this article would retract everything he wrote if he lost someone to a drunk driver.

  65. I love how this article makes the police into an adversary. As a police officer, I find this article to be very disturbing and a true reflection of the direction this country is going. Although skewed by the left coast perspective, it is still very troubling to see such an article given for free. I understand a defense attorney who represents a client for impaired driving; however I do not understand the concept of trying to put this information out in the open. I remember responding to my very first traffic fatality and looking into the dead eyes of an innocent victim. The death was caused by the irresponsible actions of a drunk driver. I first want to tell you that if you get pulled over and refuse everything the officer ask then you have not helped yourself at all. As an impaired driver you will exhibit involuntary actions that will give you away. Many impaired drivers will have glassy eyes as a result of the depressant effect on the central nervous system. The glassy eyes simply refer to a lack of blinking and movement of the eye similar to as if the eye was simply made of glass. Further, the impaired driver will probably be emitting a smell of an alcoholic beverage (notice I did not say just alcohol). The one task that you are required to perform is to retrieve your driver’s license and this will tell a lot about your impairment as well. I have arrested many impaired drivers and not one time has anyone blown under a .08. I would also say that the lawyer is incorrect in his belief that a Breathalyzer can display an incorrect result. The device North Carolina uses is an Intoximeter EC/IR II which combines the technology of a electrochemical fuel cell with infrared technology to provide an amazing machine. High priced defense experts have all failed to debunk the reliability of the instrument. I would also like to go back to the poor advice of refusing everything. If you refuse all roadside tests, you can absolutely forget about the possibility of the officer allowing you to call someone to pick you up in lieu of an arrest. The officer will also testify to the fact of your refusals. Blowing into a roadside alcohol-screening device can actually help you. By the time you get to that point, the officer has already made up his mind on your impairment. If you blow into the device and register a .08 or .07 result, the officer will more than likely allow you to call someone to pick you up. You need to realize that depending on your situation, your blood alcohol concentration may be on the rise and you could register a .09 by the time you get to the official testing site. By refusing the alcohol screening test, you ruined your chance of a deferred arrest and helped nothing. There is no officer in the world that uses an alcohol screening device as sole probable cause for an arrest. If you read this advice and practice the advice in this article you will most certainly solve nothing. The only advice that makes any sense is DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE! I assure you that the writer of this article would retract everything he wrote if he lost someone to a drunk driver.

  66. Thanks for adding your comment.

    I should have been more explicit over one of the statements that I made in my post. I stated that you are required to take the breath or blood test “once you have been arrested.”

    As you noted, the preliminary test isn’t required by law. Once you have been arrested, however, if you refuse to “blow into the little thingy” (or give blood instead, or, in rare cases, urine), that could result in a longer suspension of your license. See California Vehicle Code §23577.

    However, before you have been arrested, the officer will want a “preliminary alcohol screening” (PAS), as you noted. And I agree that should be refused. So the trick is to listen for the admonition, because if you refuse at the time of arrest, you will find your sentence enhanced. I should have been more clear about that.

    Thanks again for making that clearer!

  67. Thanks for adding your comment.

    I should have been more explicit over one of the statements that I made in my post. I stated that you are required to take the breath or blood test “once you have been arrested.”

    As you noted, the preliminary test isn’t required by law. Once you have been arrested, however, if you refuse to “blow into the little thingy” (or give blood instead, or, in rare cases, urine), that could result in a longer suspension of your license. See California Vehicle Code §23577.

    However, before you have been arrested, the officer will want a “preliminary alcohol screening” (PAS), as you noted. And I agree that should be refused. So the trick is to listen for the admonition, because if you refuse at the time of arrest, you will find your sentence enhanced. I should have been more clear about that.

    Thanks again for making that clearer!

  68. You forgot to mention that people should refuse to take the “preliminary alcohol screening” test. In layman’s terms – don’t blow into the little thingy on the side of the road. Make the officer arrest you for DUI, then submit to a chemical test at the police station.

    If you TRULY only had a single drink or maybe two over the course of a couple of hours AND you have followed all of the advice above (refusing to answer questions, refusing to take the FSTs, etc.) then you might want to consider a blood test instead of breath. There are a number of factors that can contribute to a bad breath sample – artificially pushing it above .08%, for blood – not so much.

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