DWI GUILTY Before proven innocent. Yes I did get one (DWI) and I will go in to some details. At 1 am a friend called me at my house he needed a ride home from a bar he had a little two much to drink I will not debate that and when showed up to get him I had a drink before we left for home. The sport bar is located in a shopping strip center and this is the only place I might have accelerated two fast but seeing nothing was open except the bar I darted across the parking lot and pull on the street to get on my way. Two miles into the town I live in the cop pull me over, the bar being in adjoining towns and the police being from the town the bars in. Anyway they pull me out of the car accuse me of swerving and running the stop light coming out of the parking lot. Which was not the case. They gave me field test and I went with it, not much there but before I know it he starts arresting me for DWI. Hell I thought I pass the test. He said my test wasn’t the thing and went on about the light test where he puts a light in front of your face and you watch the light without moving your head. Siad my eyes were shanking and he could tell I was drunk because he was a professional. So down to the station I went, there they asked me to take the Breathalyzer, well being told more than once never blow of course I declined. That added to a lot of other shit that I could go on for days about. Weather I would have pass or fail I don’t know. The question to me and I propose to you isn’t that like GUILTY before proven innocent. I mean no other crime that I known proves you Guilty before going to court. Yes that what a breath test did since I refused.
Well, did they use the fact that you refused to take a breathalyser test as evidence in the DWI case? I don’t think that’s legal…wouldn’t it be a fifth amendment issue? Have the courts ever ruled on that? In a lot of places, though, they can charge you with refusal to take an alcohol test. Did that happen?
If I decypher your post correctly, then the question that you have is “how do we reconcile the phrase ‘innocent until proven guilty’ with the fact that I have ramifications and consequences prior to a guilty finding?”
If this is not correct, then please feel free to redefine your question.
Yes, we have a system whereby you’re ‘innocent until proven guilty’ however, that doesn’t mean that until the guilty verdict there are no consequences whatsoever. For example, the man who was arrested for firing a gun at the White House recently has not been even found competent to stand trial yet(If I recall the news correctly), let alone guilty of a crime, yet he’s not free to roam the streets.
IN some cases, the crime is so serious that we are allowed to protect ourselves pending the resolution of the criminal trial by holding the person in jail (this is only used for most serious offenses, others will set a bail, which will allow the person to guarentee their appearance in court, if posted).
In other cases, in reference to driving privileges, we have developed a series of policies to protect all of us. One of them (depending on which state you live in) is that refusal to submit to BAL testing will result in the immediate revokation of driving privileges. Since driving is a privilege, and not a right guarrenteed, it is subject to the whims of the issuing state.
IMHO, if the law in your area says “refusal to submit to BAL testing will result in revoking of your license pending whatever” , and you are stopped and refuse to submit to BAL testing and they revoke your license, well, they’ve just done what they promised to do.
In my state (Wisconsin) refusal to take a Breathalyzer results in an automatic six month revokation of your driver’s license. They can’t convict you of DUI using your refusal as evidence, but you could still get convicted anyway based on other evidence. But even if you are found innocent you lose your license for six months.
The idea is that a driver’s license is a privilage not a right and the government can attach any stipulations they wish. I guess if you don’t like it you can build your own roads and drive on them without a license.
Get a book, BEAT THAT TICKET, from your library, Nolo Press (nolo.com), or bookstore, if they have one for your state. It explains what to do.
In my opinion, it’s far better that someone be taken off the street on the presumption they are drunk then to let them keep driving & let us find out after they run into someone or something.
Get a lawyer, it’ll cost around $750.00, quite a bit less than the mess that’lll come if you don’t get one.
Uhhh, you weren’t found guilty of DWI (or DUI), you were cited for it. You have every right to dispute the citation in court at trial – after which you will probably be found guilty of DWI. These are not the same things.
If you want to contest the charge, don’t pay it, advise them you’re contesting it and get ready to go to court.
Yes, the failure to submit to a test for alcohol (blood or breath) is admissible as tending to prove that you were under the influence IN MY JURISDICTION. (I don’t know about yours.) You may rebut this evidence by explaing why you declined (“I didn’t submit to a blood test because I’m pathologically afraid of needles.”) but you’d better have a better excuse than “well being told more than once never blow of course I declined.”
Failure to submit to a test for alcohol is also a violation of the implied consent law, which around here will cost you your license for six months regardless of whether you were drunk or not or succeed in challenging the citation or not.
Because of the implied consent law and the fact that driving is a privilege – not a right – penalizing a person for failing to test is not a Fifth Amendment violation. Also, violation of the implied consent law is a separate matter than the DUI – it is a civil sanction imposed by the State for refusing to test. It is not something you are “charged” with, to the extend that “charges” and “charging” are words most commonly associated with criminal matters.
In Virginia, the law provides that any person who operates a vehicle offers his consent to testing of his breath if he’s arrested for DWI. In other words, by driving in Virginia, you consent to having your breath, blood, or urine tested.
This doesn’t “prove” you guilty before a trial. There are certainly innocent explanations for blowing a high BAC. However, it is damning evidence.
If you refuse, you may lose your license to drive for a year.
Note that this is a seperate charge: you may have been as sober as a judge, but if you unreasonably refuse the breathilyzer test, you can lose your license.
Again, refusing doesn’t “prove” you guilty of refusal, any more than actually robbing a bank doesn’t “prove” you guilty of robbing the bank.
But it’s strong evidence against you!
Penalizing a person for failure to test isn’t a 5th amendment violation, but wouldn’t the above be? In that case, you’re introducing someone’s failure to test in a criminal case, when testing is incriminatory.
Nope. Apparently breath is not considered a “communication” sufficient to trigger Fifth Amendment protections. The U.S. Supremes have held that the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination does not prohibit admission in evidence of a person’s refusal to take a blood-alcohol sobriety test in a DUI prosecution. South Dakota v. Neville, 459 U.S. 553, 103 S.Ct. 916, 74 L.Ed.2d 748 (1983). My jurisdiction has specifically adopted Neville as law under our state constitution as well, so you are SOL here – and SOL in every other state, unless that other state has a provision in its state constitution that independently offers greater protection against self-incrimination than is offered by the Fifth Amendment to the Federal Constitution.
First of all thanks for the posts first time tread. But I have been around for awhile reading the takes in the SD so I’m not a total stranger. This is a important subject to me since living it and I feel should reply,
Captain, the case is still in litigation and yes not taking the BAL seem to be a factor but I’ll investigate the subject further after reading these takes.
Wring, what are you talking about firing a gun at the White House for example. Well, having a drink is a little different in my book. I know I left myself open so go shoot! By the way there was no accident involved!
Dr. L, last time I looked we have the right to Travel in the good old U.S.A. and I choose to do so by car.
AS FOR BUILT YOUR OWN ROADS LOOKS LIKE I’LL BE BUILDING YOUR ON A FREAKING CHAIN GANG BEFORE THIS CRAP IS OVER.:eek:
By the way why do you think I’ve been paying taxes for the last 20 YEAR!
Jodi, Handy and Bricker thanks for the input.
Latest status 2 years probation, 50 community service and yes they did take my right to travel away.
Ok, I don’t understand here. Why were you told “Never to blow”? I mean, if you only had one beer, I doubt highly that you would have shown DUI…of course if you had more than one, then you would have cause for worry. If you were concerned that the test isn’t necessarily accurate, could you refuse the Breathalizer, and request a blood test?
I did NOT attempt to equate your drinking and driving with some one shooting at the White House. I gave an example of some one who had not been found guilty of a crime and yet had personal liberties taken away to demonstrate that it was not considered to be a conflict of ‘guilty until proven innocent’. (specific quote of mine:
Re: no accident involved - doesn’t change my comments. If the law in your jurisdiction provides for immediate consequence to BAL test refusal, you got what you should have expected, no more, no less.
In other words - your case is not so much an example of “guilty before proven innocent” as it is an example of “be aware of potential consequences before embarking on a risky course of action”.
Just a few additional comments for the author of the OP:
A person who is suspected of being drunk while driving is considered an immediate danger to the public, and the police are authorized to take appropriate action to minimize the danger (IOW, stop you from driving). Therefore the analogy with the White House gunman is apt.
If you had only had one drink that evening (and if it was not a double), and you are a male of average weight, it would have been much better to do the Breathalyzer test. Chances are your BAC would have been less than .05, and you would have had a better chance of beating the DUI rap.
As you can gather from the other posts, whoever told you “never take a breathalyzer test” was talking out of his or her bottom. You might want to see if your state has posted its criminal code on-line, as Pennsylvania (mine) has. You then can see exactly what the rules are, without having to rely on hearsay.
As regards this statement:
No need to shout, good buddy. You indeed had the right to travel, but you had the privilege to travel by driving. There’s a difference. If you have now lost the right to travel (by other means than driving) due to your probation, you have my sympathies. Of course you realize you don’t get your tax money back just because you fouled up behind the wheel.
Please let us know how this all works out.
Check again. Your rights are spelled out in the Constitution. Your right to drive a state licesned automobile over federal, state, county, and municipal roads is not guaranteed anywhere. That fact that you pay taxes does not give you the right to break the law. Don’t like the law? Get enough people to agree with you and get it changed. That is your right. You do not have the right, however, to break the law just because you disagree with it.
From one newby to the other, let me be the first to tell you that you posted in the wrong forum. Check out the forum descriptions before posting. Of course if you are still drunk, we may excuse you.
It’s always best to ask for a urine test. The blood & breath tests are more accurate. You arrive at the station, ask for lots of water to drink & submit to a urine test.
As I said, read BEAT THAT TICKET for legal info on this…
We also talked about this on the board a few times. There are also some people on the board who feel particularily violent emotionally about people who get DUI’s…
*Originally posted by Dr. Lao *
IS that a blanket statement?
Rosa Parks broke the law when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man.
Sometimes you must take a stand.
“A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high virtues of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation.” - Thomas Jefferson
“Free men have a right and moral duty to oppose the unlawful taking of our natural rights by any means available to us.” - Gary A. Shade
“Immoral laws aren’t worthy of obedience” - Walter Williams
[nitpick]No. Your rights are not spelled out in the Constitution. Certain restraints on government action vis a vis your rights are spelled out, and certain rights are guaranteed, but it isn’t a laundry list of your rights. See Amendment IX, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The General Question here, as best I can tell, is “How or why is it a violation of the law to refuse an alcohol test after being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving?” and that question has been answered, correct?
Is there another General Question on the table?
Why are cute guys never as impressed as I think they should be when I take my glass eye out and spin it on the bar?