There is no question that the feeling you get when you see the flashing red and blue lights of a police interceptor behind you on a road you have probably driven on hundreds of times is nerve-wracking; especially if you may have been consuming drugs or alcohol before driving. The focus of this post is not to provide legal advice because legal advice, at least the good kind, is tailored to an individual’s needs, interests and goals. For example, the question of whether to submit to a test of your breath to assist the police in determining whether your blood alcohol content is elevated is a question I get all the time when responding to Internet inquiries or telephone calls from persons who have been arrested and charged with violating Connecticut General Statutes section 14-227a. Being arrested and charged with DUI is a very serious motor vehicle offense that carries with it serious consequences. Representing yourself might make sense because of the expense of retaining a private attorney. No one wants to pay a lawyer hundreds or thousands of dollars for a first-time DUI but most people, unfortunately, earn more money than the maximum amount allowed under the public defender program. As such, virtually all people with a job and weekly income do not qualify for the appointment of a public defender. This realization may come as a shock to most people but personal choices generally become more of a challenge for people who are confronted with unexpected consequences and situations that require the assistance of an experienced, licensed lawyer.
Usually, the trouble from an arrest for DUI begins at some innocuous event like a bowling night or the softball league get-together after games. Sometimes it’s after a private social gathering or a professional networking event. Whatever the particular facts and circumstances, a DUI arrest is usually preceded by a poor choice: the choice to drive a car after a person consumes too much alcohol and/or drugs. This post’s concentration is upon alcohol but being arrested for smoking marijuana while driving or taking prescribed narcotic medications before driving implicates the same poor choice to drive and is generally prosecuted in the same manner as arrests for an elevated blood alcohol content (BAC) with some substantive differences. The simplest way to avoid a DUI arrest is to avoid driving a car after ingesting alcohol.
How many drinks a person can have before they exceed the statutory BAC level of .08 depends upon many factors. There is a multitude of factors that affect the way alcohol is absorbed and metabolized by people. Whatever the particular circumstances are, these need to be discussed candidly with your attorney. Discussing your personal physical factors and the number and type of drinks you had with a police officer who is shining a light in your face is a very bad idea but people do it all the time. Most people charged with DUI actually provided the police with the facts necessary to establish the probable cause needed to conduct at least three of the several dozen standard field sobriety tests. After many years of law practice, I am still amazed at the people who freely speak to the police despite knowing that anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. It is ridiculous how many people can recite the Miranda warnings from the movies and tv shows but do not heed the same warnings about their constitutional right to REMAIN SILENT.
If you confess, then you will be arrested. It is very difficult for most people not to tell the truth to a law enforcement agent. Most of us were raised to respect the police and to obey the law. You can do both of these things and still protect your right against self-incrimination. In Clinton, Connecticut, where my office is located, the police are well-trained to interrogate drivers who have had too much to drink and chose to drive. Virtually all stops for suspicion of DUI result in charges and either a conviction or the utilization of a pre-trial diversionary program.
Facts and circumstances always dictate how a specific situation should be handled. When in doubt invoking the right not to answer questions without the assistance of legal counsel is always a safe bet. Attorney Sullivan has handled many DUI/Motor Vehicle matters and can provide you with the assistance and peace of mind you seek if you ever find yourself arrested and charged with DUI. We are on the Internet: www.SullivanHeiser.com
If you are under investigation or have been arrested and charged with a crime, then call Attorney Bradford J. Sullivan and schedule an appointment to discuss your personal circumstances.