I represent a lot of people charged with DWIs. And a lot of DWIs are the result of holiday and New Year partying that leads to too much drinking, and far too much drinking and driving.
If you do plan to drink, plan on a Designated Driver. Or hire a taxi. Or sleep at a friend’s house. But don’t drink and drive.
If you are ultimately charged with drunk driving, understand your rights. You are not required to submit to a Portable Breath Test (PBT). You are not required to answer any questions (although you are required to provide your license and proof of registration or insurance). You are not required to perform any Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). You are not required to explain to the police officer where you are coming from, or where you are going to. You are not required to say how much you’ve had to drink or whether you’ve had anything to drink at all.
You can say, politely, to the officer that you’d like to have an attorney present. Or you’d like to be on your way.
If the police officer requests you submit to a Intox EC/IR (breathalyzer) test at the Public Safety Center (Jail) or at a police station, you have a difficult decision to make. If you do submit, the results will be used against you in a court of law. If you don’t submit, your license is likely to be suspended for a year automatically with only a brief Refusal Hearing as your recourse. And if you don’t submit, the police officer may simply go get a search warrant to draw your blood.
Our offices will be open throughout the New Year’s weekend. If you wish to talk about a recent DWI, a recent misdemeanor charge, or a recent felony charge, feel free to call (919) 352-9411 day or night.
But, above all, be safe for you and your fellow drivers’ sakes.