Just a reminder that .08 BAC does not mean that is the legal limit for a DUI arrest. As I have previously written, the police will not hesitate to arrest on any number if they are having a slow night, or their non-existent quotas have not been met for the month.
Yesterday I was called upon to defend a pleasant young man attending college that blew a .05 and was driving on a flat tire. He was nervous when he did the field sobriety tests so they were not perfect, but then again, they never are according to the men in blue. Anyway, this cop made a point in his arrest report of writing six different times, “the defendant had the STRONG smell of alcohol.” This appeared 6 times in two pages. It was almost funny because I haven’t seen an instance of the cop trying to guild the lilly this bad in many years.
After the cop arrests my client and drags him to the station, and notes the “strong smell of alcohol” in his police cruiser (probably coming from the cop and not my client) the cop proceeds to hook him up to the breath machine and gets that all important alcohol number. …..whoops, it was only .05!! Now what?
What is a cop to do after he has made such a stunning arrest and documents the overwhelming odor of alcohol, despite the defendant telling Mr. Cop the truth, that he only had two beers? Well, that’s easy, tell the Defendant to sit still while they call the DRE or drug cop to gather more overwhelming evidence.
Happily my client told the cop that the witch hunt was over and there would be no more cooperation on his part. Whoops, game over. Cop loses.
As I’ve told many a police before, DON’T TRY TO MAKE YOUR CASE BY LYING ABOUT THE EVIDENCE! That is NOT in your job description. If you just tell the damn truth you will probably win the cases you should win and you will lose the cases you should lose. Depending on the Judge, you will actually win cases you should not win, just by telling the truth. If/when you start lying and exaggerating the evidence, you make the whole system stink more then it already does and you place yourself and your family in jeopardy (when you get caught you could lose your job). Now does that make sense?
Anyway, the Government could not seem to figure out that a .05 is a ridiculous case to prosecute without dragging myself and my client to Ocean City Maryland (which was probably their goal) but once we did get there, the Government seemed to figure it out pretty quickly, all alcohol charges dropped and happy client goes back to college.
The take home message: .08 aint the legal limit in this country! Anything over 1 drink or .03, and you have exposure to a legal problem.
Feel free to call us if that happens and you want to discuss your case.