March 9, 2006
DUI Urban Legend
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DUI? Sometimes, Bad Things Happen To Good People by Carson Danfield
As long as there are human police officers, injustices always will occur. A great many police officers feel they have done their job when they arrest a person for "mere suspicion" of DUI. In some instances, the arrest may be warranted, but sometimes it isn't.
Although you may think that just because your Blood Alcohol Level is below the state limit, usually 0.08%, that you'll not be arrested for DUI. Wrong! Actually, you can be arrested for DUI no matter what level of alcohol is in your bloodstream. Even if you haven't been drinking at all, if the police officer observes anything about you that leads him to believe you may have been drinking, he can arrest you. And then, it's up to you to prove your innocence.
For example, let's say that you just finished a fine meal at your favorite restaurant and you had a small glass of wine. An overzealous police officer stops you for a minor traffic violation and smells alcohol on your breath. He immediately arrests you for DUI, slaps on a set of handcuffs and hauls you off to jail.
Once you arrive at the jail, you're photographed and fingerprinted, then you're placed in a holding cell, probably along with some pretty unsavory characters. You'll wait there for what seems like an eternity and eventually you'll go before a local magistrate who will decide what happens next. He may just assign you a court date and release you, or he may keep you locked up until you post a cash bail. If you don't post bail, you'll sit in jail until your court date.
Even when you do get out of jail, it will seem like your troubles are just starting. As a result of your arrest, your car was towed to an impound lot and when you go to retrieve it, you'll be faced with paying hundreds of dollars in towing, storage and administrative fees.
When your court date finally arrives a few weeks later, you need to be prepared to fight your case by being knowledgeable about the DUI laws of your state. If everything concerning your arrest wasn't done properly, there's a good chance you can get the case dismissed and all charges dropped, thereby keeping your record clean. Even if your case does proceed to trial, your guilt must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Again, this is where you need to be aware of the law and what's legally required for a conviction.
Keep in mind that the police officer is not your friend. The judge is not your friend. This is a money-making enterprise for them and they would prefer to punish you as much as possible, as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next poor soul who they've managed to catch in their snare. If you don't know your rights and speak up, they'll just dish out your punishment and move on to the next victim. You will have now been rubber-stamped as a criminal and you'll have to live with the consequences.
Posted by: Carson Danfield | May 11, 2007 5:27:01 AM
An overzealous police officer stops you for a minor traffic violation and smells alcohol on your breath. He immediately arrests you for DUI, slaps on a set of handcuffs and hauls you off to jail.
Posted by: Brian2008 | Jan 6, 2009 5:30:04 AM