Tag Archives: DUI

What You Should Know About Breathalyzer Tests

Breathalyzer testing deviceIf you ever get pulled over and are under suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), also known as driving under the influence (DUI), you’ll most likely have to perform a breath test using a device known generically as a breathalyzer (also called an intoxilyzer). This device measures your blood alcohol content (BAC).

Here’s what you should know…

In many cases, when a cop performs a breath analysis he will tell you to blow into the breathalyzer as long and hard as possible. This is not to get a sufficient sample – the purpose is to convict you with a higher blood alcohol content reading.

You see, when we breathe we seldom take deep breaths. Alcohol molecules lay in the bottom of our lungs at a much denser level than in our upper lungs because normal breathing doesn’t disturb them. By getting defendants to blow long and hard into the breathalyzer the cop is able to get deep lung air (DLA) into the sampling which is much richer in alcohol content than the normal breath would result.

The breathalyzer testing process is designed for normal breathing because not everyone has the same lung capacity. This way, most people will be able to give a sufficient sample for testing without using DLA. This is why there is a tone on the breathalyzer that signals when the air sample is sufficient to test, but cops insist that you should blow longer. That’s not fair.

With all this in mind, here are two things you should do if you are stopped for a DUI.

First, blow into the breathalyzer normally only until the tone sounds. Second, as you are headed to the station and waiting for the breath test, you should be breathing with slow and long deep breaths so the air in your lungs can be exchanged with outside air that is not filled with alcohol molecules. The fresh air in the lung will not give as strong a sampling of alcohol since it is fresh.

Actions That Will Make Your Blood Alcohol Test Worse

Using breath sprays are a bad idea. Most contain alcohol and always give higher readings as long as 20 minutes after using them. The same goes for mouthwash. Also it is not a good idea to hold your breath because it does not allow the alcohol to diffuse in your lungs. And lastly, burping into the breathalyzer doesn’t work either and usually results in higher readings.

Dean Ryan has been a practicing attorney in Garden City KS for 30 years. He can help defend you with DUI and other traffic charges. Protect your driving record and call (620) 275-9614 for professional help today.

Are Traffic Cops Your Friend?

Getting pulled over by the police shouldn’t be a big deal, right? That’s what most folks think until they are suddenly, and surprisingly, under intense questioning and unwarranted suspicion.

Of course, everyone is nervous about getting pulled over, but in some cases you may find yourself under suspicion and questioning that seems unreasonable. And unfortunately, if you don’t handle the situation properly you could find yourself being detained, subjected to search and even arrested.

First and foremost you must remember that police officers are NOT your friends. They will look for any and all violations possible and find ways to detain and even arrest you. They will try to intimidate you and use psychological tactics to try and get you to talk. You must understand they are in the business to hand out violations and bust people. It’s their job!

So What Should You Do When Stopped By Police?

First and foremost, NEVER consent to a vehicle search. Many officers will ask offhandedly if they can search the car. People panic, don’t want to raise suspicion, and allow a search. This is a big mistake because they could find something innocent like a beer can under the seat. Even worse, they could find items left in the car by someone else you have NO idea about. Remember, they have no right to search your vehicle unless you are under arrest. Better to just say no.

And secondly, if a cop goes beyond asking for your name and address, it’s best to simply tell them these magic words:

“I choose to remain silent. I want to see my lawyer.”

This wonderfully simple phrase invokes your rights under the law and protects you from further interrogation. Now usually, this won’t stop them. They’ll use all sorts of tactics they’ve learned through training and experience to get you to start talking. And yes, they will lie to you. They may start chattering about all the charges they are going to give you, threaten to take you to jail if you don’t talk, or much worse. These are all scare tactics. They are hoping you break down and give them something so they can detain or even arrest you. Don’t say anything except the magic phrase:

“I choose to remain silent. I want to see my lawyer.”

At this point, they will either give up trying to trick you and send you on your way, or if they actually have a violation, write you a ticket; or worst-case scenario, take you into custody. But remember, the whole point of this exercise is to NOT give them ANY reason to detain you and search your property, or give them additional evidence in case of an arrest. Anything you say to cops can and will be used against you (and your friends) in court.

The golden rule is to NEVER trust a cop. Use the magic phrase and make sure your friends understand this too! Remember, another tactic cops use is to separate everyone and say your friends ratted you out so you’ll start talking. They are hoping someone breaks down so they’ll have enough to arrest everyone.

Protect your rights under the law. Use the magic phrase and you’ll stop over-zealous law enforcement bullies dead in their tracks.

Dean Ryan has been a practicing attorney in Garden City KS for 30 years. He can help defend you with DUI and other traffic charges. Protect your driving record and call (620) 275-9614 for professional help today.

The Best Way to Handle a DUI

You are at a friend’s having a good time. You’ve had a few drinks but feel okay to drive. You are generally responsible and have a spotless driving record. For whatever innocent reason, you get pulled over. A tail light is out, a blinker doesn’t work… whatever.

The police officer suspects you may have been drinking and gives you a sobriety test. He says you failed, arrests you and charges you with DUI. It’s a frightening set of circumstances that happen every day.

So what should you do?

Well, the absolute first thing is to contact a DUI lawyer and educate yourself on the legal process involved.

First, you need to understand the charges against you. Every state has their own laws and different names for drunk driving. There’s DUI (driving under influence), DWI (driving while intoxicated) and others. Most states categorize the offense as a misdemeanor, but it can be a felony for repeat offenders or if injury or death is involved. You can expect fines and community service, the possible loss of your license, and in more serious cases, jail time.

What To Do If You Are Arrested

1) Be respectful at all times and exercise your right to remain silent. Remember, anything you say can be used against you; so the less you say, the better off you are. You don’t want to say anything that can potentially incriminate you.

2) Exercising your right to remain silent means you do not have to answer any questions from police officers or investigators. State your right to remain silent and ask for an attorney.

3) You will want to exercise your right to an attorney as soon as possible. This should be offered to you when you are taken into custody. Remember, if you cannot afford an attorney then you should ask for one to be appointed to you. This is what is known as a public defender.

Once you have legal representation you will need to work with your attorney on your defense. This is when a good attorney with experience is good to have on your side. They understand the system and all the effective defenses you can present in court.

It is possible for you to prove that you are not guilty or that the evidence is not sufficient to convict you. Some of these defenses could involve simple and honest reasons for your erratic driving other than impairment. For example, some of these could include a sudden distraction, lack of sleep or even allergy medication. Other valid defenses your attorney can use is to argue the accuracy of field sobriety and blood tests.

At this point your case can be dismissed or plea bargained. If you have a strong defense the prosecution may offer you a lesser charge to avoid going to court. In many cases your attorney may try to enter into a plea bargain for a lighter sentence on your behalf.

In any case, it is always best to get good legal representation. Remember, your license is an important part of your life and livelihood. Violations against your record can hurt you in many ways including credit reports and higher insurance costs. Don’t let them cause you harm unnecessarily.

Dean Ryan has been a practicing attorney in Garden City KS for 30 years.  He can help defend you with DUI and other traffic charges. Protect your driving record and call (620) 275-9614 for professional help today.