Top 7 Ways to Fight a DUI
Defense Strategies for Drunk Driving Charges
At Paul W. Burmaster P.A., we have represented countless individuals faced with DUI charges. We have compiled a list of seven different ways to fight a DUI charge, avoid a DUI arrest whenever possible, and to defend yourself against wrongful conviction. Read through the strategies below to learn more. If you do get arrested, contact Paul W. Burmaster Kansas City DUI lawyer to review your case and start building your defense.
Use Your Head — Drinking and driving
may be a drinking problem, but it is
always a driving problem. The simplest solution is not to drive. Make a plan and stick to it. Designate someone to drive, take a cab, call a friend, or walk. If you do not drive when you've been drinking, then you'll never face a DUI charge.
- Know Your Limit — Two drinks is the limit, right? Wrong. Your weight, gender, food consumption, and the number and types of drinks you've had all play a part in determining your blood alcohol content (BAC). Check out our BAC calculator as a basic guide and learn your personal limit. Know when you've had enough, and you should be able to avoid a DUI arrest.
- Know the Road — Road blocks, or "checkpoints," don't happen at random. They must be announced to the public, so read the paper or go online and pay attention. Even a sober driver can be detained by these stops. I've seen people with very low or even zero, BAC levels trapped in roadblocks for hours just because they seem to have the odor of alcohol about them. This is why it is important to know the road and plan your route accordingly. Also, don't speed, fail to signal, or drive with broken lights or expired tags. Errors like this are an invitation to be detained by police.
- Smile, You're on Camera! — Most DUI arrests are now video recorded and even audio recorded. Be aware of this and use it to your advantage. Be polite. If you have an injury that affects your ability to perform field sobriety tests, then speak up and repeat it again and again. For example, you can say something like, "I have bad ankles. I have bad ankles. Good grief, I have bad ankles." You should also know that whatever you say on the side of the road can and will be used against you even if the officer does not read you your Miranda rights. Do not admit to things that will hurt your case and be sure to say as little as possible.
- Simon Says Stop — Neither Missouri DUI laws nor Kansas DUI laws require you to do the field sobriety tests, i.e. the "Simon Says" stuff on the side of the road. If you do have an injury that will affect your ability to keep your balance, then refuse these tests. Even if you do not have an injury or medical condition, you may still want to refuse. These tests have huge margins of error, yet the police force expects a near-perfect performance from you, and the officer grading your test is not exactly in your corner. Finally, in Missouri and Kansas, it is not a moving violation to refuse the preliminary breath test (PBT). You can be fined for refusing it, but the test itself is highly inaccurate and will still be used to justify a DUI arrest. If you refuse any test, then the officer will probably threaten to arrest you; however, he's probably going to arrest you anyway, so why give him the extra evidence?
- Get a Fair Test — Both Missouri and Kansas rely primarily on the Intoxilyzer breath test machines. Kansas uses the 8000 and Missouri the older 5000. Only a handful of states still rely on the primitive 5000 technology. If you are arrested for DUI, you will be given a choice of whether or not to take a test. You will be given and have to read a long list of warnings. Listen and decide, based upon your criminal history, whether or not to blow into the machine. Keep in mind that, if you are arrested in Missouri, you should ask to talk to an attorney before you blow — you will be given a chance to talk to one, but only if you ask. If you do blow into the machine, then take three deep breaths first to clear your deep lung air in order to get a more accurate reading. Do not hold your breath, as this will cause a buildup of alcohol in your lungs resulting in a false high reading. You can also ask for a blood test after the breath test if the breathalyzer results seem inaccurate. Demand to be given an opportunity to get your own fair and accurate test result.
- Call a Lawyer — If you are charged with DUI or DWI, then call an experienced attorney immediately. You have 15 days in Missouri and 14 days in Kansas to request an administrative license hearing. If you fail to request a hearing in a timely manner, then your license will be automatically suspended. A good DUI attorney will meet with you for free to discuss your case. You need an excellent attorney, not a useless one. Some attorneys quote low fees, do little work, and often say that the license hearings can't be won unless the officer doesn't show. A good DUI lawyer will fight for you, know the law, look at the reports, videos, and intoxication records, and will review evidence with you. Don't waste your money on a worthless attorney. Contact the firm of Paul W. Burmaster P.A. instead.
Why hire a DUI Attorney?
By retaining the experienced representation of Attorney Paul W. Burmaster, you will have the highest possible chance of having your case dismissed. For more than 22 years, Attorney Burmaster has fought drunk driving charges and prevented clients from facing serious DUI penalties. He is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense and regularly lectures other lawyers about DUI defense strategies and procedures. Contact our firm today for a
complimentary consultation and learn how we can handle your case.