If This Is Your First DUI Offense
A first offense typically involves, the stop, the officer smelling alcohol in the car, observing “droopy” eyes, slurred speech, questions, an arrest, booking at jail and release upon bond after at least several hours at jail. You should then hire a Idaho DUI attorney who enters a not guilty plea, requests jury trial and “discovery” for production by the state of all police reports, documents and test results. We then scrutinize the discovery for defenses, such as there having been no “probable cause” or “reasonable suspicion” for the traffic stop, or an uncalibrated testing device for blood alcohol, or an untrained person giving the test, or you belched or burped, or no warrant for a blood test, or a number of other possible challenges to support a “motion to suppress evidence,” which could result in a dismissal. While such results are not usually obtained, we must know for sure that nothing is missed. This takes the careful review of an experienced attorney to be sure.
WHAT IF YOU REFUSE THE BREATH TEST OR BLOOD TEST ? NOT A GOOD IDEA, USUALLY.
If you do refuse the breath test, the refusal is used against you in court as evidence, and you face a driver’s license suspension of one year without privileges and a fine, regardless of whether or not you are convicted of the DUI. If you refuse a blood draw, a warrant can be obtained by the officer, day or night, from a judge on standby assignment by the courts. And, you would then face the one year license suspension for the refusal. The refusal triggers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) hearing and a possible suspension by the court, which is in addition to a suspension by the Idaho Transportation Department as an administrative license suspension (ALS).
If you know you are intoxicated to such a degree that your blood alcohol concentration that would show on a test may exceed 0.20, or if this is a second (enhanced penalties)or third (felony) DUI within 10 years, you might refuse a test and take your chances. The laws are crafted by the state to make the consequences of refusal very severe, and, in most cases, a refusal is not justified by a person suspected of DUI.
JUST SLEEPING IN YOUR CAR? DON’T DO IT AFTER DRINKING. CALL A CAB.
You do not have to drive a vehicle to be convicted. The law says that driving or being “in actual physical control,” defined as being in the “driver’s position” with the engine running or the vehicle moving gets you a DUI conviction. Of course, what is a “driver’s position”? Recently, in a case I had, the judge ruled that it means being in the driver’s seat, regardless of intention to drive or not, whether one could reach the controls, whether the seat was fully reclined or otherwise. The Idaho Supreme Court has said that intent is not required and that anything other than as a “passenger” gets you convicted. If you are in the back seat of the car asleep, unless the state can prove you were in the driver’s position with the motor running or the vehicle moving while intoxicated, you may be ok. Get a ride or call a cab.
Contact Brian Donesley Attorney At Law If You Need A Experienced Idaho DUI Lawyer