Tag Archives: DWI

How A Bad Driving Record Can Ruin Your Life

garden city ks traffic lawyer

Garden City KS 67846 Lawyer for speeding tickets, expired tags, expired license, no proof of insurance and DUI.

It’s hard to believe, but driving records can be much more damaging than criminal records.

How is this possible? Well, things have changed.

You see, insurance companies and employers are looking at your records differently these days. This is because more and more people are expunging their criminal history.  So, insurance carriers and prospective employers are trying to find your history in different ways.  One way is your driving record.

A resume can be full of half truths, missing items or made up degrees, so employers are not as interested in a resume as you might think.  The time it takes to verify every school, prior job or degree you have is too burdensome.  Instead, they are looking at other ways to peer into your life and make a quick determination of who you are… whether it is deserved or not.

It used to be that a quick peek at a criminal record was a good indicator of character, but those records can be expunged by any good attorney, including me. Having this done is still a good idea because many jobs are dependent on criminal history, but there is no way to expunge your driving records. Even worse, they are easily accessed by any prospective employer or probing insurance company.

Two recent events come to mind.  One client of mine got a DUI about three years ago.  We have expunged it from her criminal history, but the suspended license she got with that DUI remains on her driving record for at least 5 years.  She still is unable to get insurance for her vehicle because of that driving record.

Another incident, which was even more unfair, involved a client who got a conviction for “Minor in Possession of Alcohol” (MIP) while at college.  He wasn’t driving and wasn’t even near his car when alcohol was found in his dorm room.  In Kansas, an MIP conviction also results in a suspension of your driving privileges.  Today he can’t get a promotion at his job because when his employer submitted his name to that employer’s insurance company, the insurance company rejected his application.  All they saw was the suspended driver’s license several years ago and refused insurance coverage.  My client can’t take the promotion at his job as the employer’s insurer refuses to allow him to drive a company car.  All because of a beer in a dorm room 3 years ago.

Although I did not represent this client in the MIP case it would have been better to have legal counsel. It is entirely likely the result would have been something other than a suspended license. Instead, the client went to court unrepresented, entered a guilty plea and paid a fine.  It wasn’t until later he learned his license was suspended.  And it wasn’t until a lot later he found out it would keep him from getting a promotion.

The point is you should be very careful with your driving record.  Don’t think pleading to an infraction and paying the fine and court costs will be the end of a ticket.  It can have some long term consequences.

For help with Garden City KS traffic violations including speeding tickets, driving under the influence (DUI), Minor in Possession (MIP) and expired license, tags or insurance call my office at 620-275-9614. Also, I can help you expunge your criminal history and clear it up as soon as possible so you have a better chance at promotions, cheaper insurance and job security.

 

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.