The Dangers of Driving While Sober (continued)
Protecting Yourself in the New Era of Prohibitionists
Even though many of you might not think twice about getting a DUI because you do not “drink and drive”, you can be arrested for DUI anyway.
While most officers are competent and are simply doing their job, you never know when you will come across Buford T. Justice or Roscoe P. Coltrane. What happens if, as in my case, you’re 6’2, 225 pounds, had one rum and coke, waited in the parking lot for an hour before you drove, but you get arrested for DUI anyway? What I learned from this incident are things every driver should know and be prepared for.
1. Do not admit to having a drink. Perhaps I could have saved myself a lot of this pain by simply lying to the officer. I am the type of guy who believes honesty is the best policy and when questioned by the officer whether or not I had a drink, I told the truth. Unfortunately, the law compels you to lie. If you admit to having a drink, even just one, you are very likely to be subjected to a field sobriety test. In my case, I had no idea that I would have some balance issues and a simple error while doing a field sobriety test could be enough to arrest you.
2. Have a recording device in your vehicle at all times. In my case, I was unprepared even though I do have a dashboard camera available to me that records front and inside my vehicle. Had I had that in my vehicle at the time that I was pulled over, I could have recorded a lot of what happened with a simple push of a button.
The reason this is so important is because your memory sucks. Admit it and the sooner you do, the better off you will be. It is in your best interest to be completely honest with your attorney, but no matter how honest you are, within twenty seconds of something happening, your memory will begin to fade. This is a fact about short term memory. Simple but important facts will begin to fade immediately.
For example, when my attorney Chris Alexander asked me if I was read my Miranda Rights, I could not remember whether or not the officer did. This is an extremely important fact and while I remember him doing so, I could not remember if he was doing it at the time that he put the handcuffs on me. Your attorney knows your memory sucks, all of his/her clients have a faulty memory. It’s human nature.
The actual facts are not going to be made available to your attorney until after your arraignment. He won’t be able to see the video, he won’t be able to see anything, including things you might have unintentionally excluded. The sooner he gets the facts in his hands, the better it is for you. Again, keep a recording device in your vehicle at all times for your own protection.
3. Do not admit to taking prescription drugs. In my case, even though I blew a .000% on my BAC, I was still booked under suspicion that I was on “prescription drugs”. I did not admit to taking prescription drugs nor do I take prescription drugs, but admitting to being on prescription drugs is the same as admitting to having a drink.
4. Do not admit guilt, the officer has the advantage of the Expert Fallacy. It has been proven that somebody in authoritative attire can state false things and people would simply accept it as fact. This is because our brains our wired to trust authority. An officer has the advantage over you simply because he is in uniform and you probably would not be. Even though I felt perfectly sober, the officers pressing questions were annoying me and I felt like just saying whatever he wanted to hear. The reason it was annoying me was because I knew what the truth was, but he was using the power of expert fallacy to get me to change my story and admit guilt. It took some self discipline to stand my ground. Be honest with your attorney, but do not make his job harder by admitting guilt.
5. Road side tests are easier to fail then you think. It is arbitrary in its use and it’s at the officer’s discretion. What you may be capable of doing today, you might not be capable of doing later. You may have an injury, sore muscles, or the slowing of your body from simple aging.
Make no mistakes folks, this can happen to anyone. I must do my part to prevent this from happening to other people. If I don’t stand up, I’m giving them permission. I’m writing this in the hopes that my story can prevent someone else from enduring the pain and suffering that I had to endure. Don’t drink and drive, but more importantly, don’t assist those who would falsely accuse you by being participants in their witch hunt. Share this article with your family, friends, and anybody you care about. It just might make a world of difference.