Interviewer: What are some of the top common DUI misconceptions you get from people arrested for DWI? What do they say? What are they surprised about or they thought was this way but it’s instead that way?
Kevin Roach: When people get pulled over for DWI in the St. Louis area the police officers typically tell them to blow or they will lose their license for one year. This is totally misleading. Therefore, people arrested for DWI or DUI are always questioning their decision to blow or not to blow. Most people think, “Well, I had to blow because I was going to lose my license for a year if I didn’t.” That’s totally misleading because technically if you refuse the Breathalyzer on a first offense, you can lose your license for a year. If you don’t retain an attorney, if you don’t do anything about it, you can lose your license for a year. But if you do retain an attorney, you can typically get a first offense refusal case. You can typically get the driver’s license case dismissed. That’s the reason why the officer wants you to blow. They want you to blow because, first of all, they want to get the evidence against you, showing that you’ve been drinking. They want to get that blood alcohol.
Secondly, they know about this confession policy. They want you to lose your license, so they try to get you to blow into the Breathalyzer. I hear that all the time: “Well, I blew because I didn’t want to lose my license for a year,” or “I refused so I’m going to lose my license for a year.” They’re all depressed about it and wondering how they’re going to keep their job and what they’re going to do. Once they’re advised on their rights, a lot of times people are surprised, because I will tell people a lot of times, “Well, the smartest thing you did last night was not take that Breathalyzer,” and they’re just kind of taken back by that. They refused it probably for other reasons, but they didn’t realize that it was actually going to help them to refuse the Breathalyzer.
Interviewer: Are there any other common DUI misconceptions? How about people that say, “Oh, the police never read me my rights so can you get my case thrown out?”
Kevin Roach: Yeah, it’s another misconception that I hear a lot. People say, “Well, they didn’t read me my Miranda rights. Can’t we get this case dismissed?” What they don’t realize is Miranda only covers any statements that you made after you’re taken into custody. Typically, they have enough evidence to make their case before they even take you into custody. They have the field sobriety tests and possibly a video of the field sobriety tests. They have the officer’s personal observations. They normally would have you admitting to drinking at least a couple of beers or whatever you’re drinking that night.
They have enough typically anyway, and then on the way to the station, they don’t read you your rights and you end up talking to the officer about some other stupid things you did that night or something. It doesn’t mean the case is going to get dismissed. I guess those statements could technically get suppressed, but it’s not going to mean that your case is just going to be thrown out of court.
Kevin J. roach is a St. Louis DWI defense attorney who has defended thousands of DWI and DUI cases in the St. Louis Metro area. Call us today at (636) 519-0085 or (866) 519-0085 for your Free Consultation!