A DUI arrest comes without warning or notice, the decisions made during and after the arrest often determines the outcome of a particular case. Anyone arrested in Kern County should be aware of the potential long-term consequences and immediate penalties that may result from a plea of guilty or a court conviction. Although there is no way to fully prepare for an encounter with law enforcement after a night of drinking, the public should be informed of basic “do’s and don’ts” pertaining to a drunk driving investigation. The following is a list of the biggest blunders a person makes in this type of situation:
Never tell the police officer the number of drinks you had, this information is requested for one reason only and that is so that you can be locked into a specific drinking pattern that may deny you of important defenses in Court.
Never agree to take any hand-held Preliminary Alcohol Screening Device (PAS) Breath Test, unless you are under age 21 the law does not require it. These breath machines are not accurate and lead to injustice.
Never agree to submit to any FST’s. First of all, they are not “tests” you do not get a score and they are completely subjective. Do not take them.
Never t make admissions about your level of intoxication or sobriety. Remember, you have the right under the Constitution to remain silent-exercise that right!
Never tell the officer where and when you were drinking. When in doubt, invoke your Constitutional right to remain silent, this info. is used to preclude rising blood alcohol defenses by your attorney.
Always ask to speak to a Lawyer before answering any questions about drinking or your level on intoxication following a DUI traffic stop. You have the right to do this (the exception is choosing which test you will submit to, speaking to a lawyer before choosing the breath or blood test is not permitted).
Always take the breath test (not the PAS, see above), when given a choice between breath or blood, upon being lawfully arrested. The breath test is easier to challenge than the blood test.
Always speak to an attorney as soon as possible after you are let out of jail. You must get the important information about preserving evidence, securing essential witnesses and obtaining necessary Court dates and a temporary license from the DMV.
Never go to Court and try to represent yourself. Would you operate on yourself if you needed surgery, would you?
Never delay in requesting a DMV hearing ASAP in order to save your driver’s license after a DUI arrest. The law only gives you 10 days to avoid certain license suspension.
In summary, there are ways to minimize the impact of the DUI, an attorney can help guide you.