How smart is it to drive a car through the streets with, say, a .16 blood alcohol level? Not very. In fact, it is abundantly stupid and inherently dangerous for you and everyone in your vicinity. How about saving about $5,000 in attorney’s fees and take a cab instead of driving? How about, since it’s the summer and we all know we are going to imbibe, just plan to take a cab from the start?
Yes, think about it. A good attorney will charge you at least $5,000 pre-trial to work up your case. Yes, people, there are defenses to high blood alcohol DUI’s. That’s not to say that your case can be won. Many can, many can’t. It depends on how competent your lawyer is, how the cop did the investigation, if the machines used were properly calibrated, and what you said at the time of the investigation, amongst other things.
Remember, anyone with a law license from the State of Massachusetts can take your money and represent you on a DUI. That doesn’t mean that they know what they are doing. Drunk Driving law is a specialty just like doctors specialize. You need a criminal defense firm not a real estate attorney.
Police agencies all over Massachusetts are setting up roadblocks, and putting officers on overtime, to make as many DUI arrests as possible. Hopefully, the tips below will come in handy for you.
Over Holiday weekends in particular you will run into Drunk Driving Roadblocks. They are usually at chokepoints where you can’t turn around and they are looking for you, the “drunk driver”. When you are in one do not turn attempt to get out or you will draw all of their attention, Be Polite, Be Brief or Be Gone!!
1. If you drive in Massachusetts and you plan on having a cocktail or two, make sure you know where your license and registration are. Massachusetts DUI officers historically write in their Massachusetts DUI reports (putting only facts that harm you in them) that the suspect “fumbled for his wallet” and couldn’t find his registration. They use this to try to show you were impaired. Be prepared.
2. When you get signaled by the Massachusetts Police officer to pull over for a DUI assessment, do so immediately and safely. Roll down your window and put your hands on the steering wheel.
3. If a Massachusetts DUI officer asks you if you know why you are being pulled over, remember you don’t have to answer. What a dumb question! He knows why he is pulling you over. He is pulling you over to assess you for drunk driving, and he’s using the fact that you might have committed some minor vehicle code violations as an excuse. Don’t make any admissions to him. So, you can just ask him, “why?”
4. The next question the Massachusetts DUI officer is likely to ask is, “Have you had anything to drink tonight.” Remember your rights? You are not required to speak to officers. I know, I know, you think, “But if I don’t talk to the officer, he will be mad.” Let him be mad. You are not at a social gathering; he is not invited to your next birthday party. So don’t worry about how he feels. He is collecting evidence against you. Don’t give him any. It is best to say, “Officer, I appreciate what you do for a living, but I don’t wish to answer any of your questions.” You do NOT have to answer. The less from you he gets, the better for you in the long run. He is gathering evidence. But, you say, maybe he will let me go if he knows I’m being honest with him. NO. Most people who are pulled over and have alcohol on their breath get arrested. It’s just a fact of life. Don’t give him anything to put in that report that he can use against you later.
5. He may then say, “I’d like you to complete a series of tests for me.” Again, let him know that you do not wish to participate in any tests. You are not required to comply. Massachusetts DUI officers try to give a series of field tests to determine if you are impaired. I have NEVER known any officer to do these as per the standardized protocol. I am a retired Boston Police Officer who was trained to administer these tests, and was required to pass a practical and written test to get that certification. Cops learn how to do these, and then promptly forget them, making up their own “tests.” Do not do them. Do NOT let the officer collect more false “evidence” against you. Just reiterate that you do not wish to perform and tests. It’s your right.
6. The officer will most likely arrest you, cuff and take you to the station or barracks. You will be required to take a breath or blood test. You must choose to take one of these tests, or have your license suspended for failure to take the breathalyzer. A few pointers: If you are still absorbing alcohol, the breath test will read high. It is also an INDIRECT measurement of blood alcohol level. If you believe that you have had too many drinks then DO NOT TAKE THE TEST.
7. If you are arrested, you will be released within 12 hours on your promise to appear in court.. Get a good attorney to represent you as early in the process as possible to preserve your rights. A capable attorney can read the reports and give you an honest assessment of your chances of winning the case at trial.
So, be careful. Don’t drink and drive. Drive safely. If stopped don’t talk to the police. Be polite, but do not let them gather inculpatory evidence against you.