Archive for the ‘DUI Checkpoints’ Category

The Truths Behind Roadblocks

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Everyday we get behind the wheels of our car driving from one location to the next. From early morning to late at night we are always on the roads trying to get the daily challenges life throws at us down with speed and efficiency. We sometimes drive long hours on our hard earned vacation time to our destination of choice in hope of thrill and relaxation. Either way, we as Americans are constantly on the road moving from place to place. However, when we are on the road we want speed and efficiency. Yet, we are bound to run across a roadblock sometime within our driving experiences in one place or another.

Roadblocks main purpose that is known by the general public is to help cars going through them be investigated and make sure that there is not any driving while intoxicated of alcohol or other substances. These roadblocks can either take just a minute or two, or you can be in traffic for a long period of time causing many people to get frustrated easily.

So, one would think that these roadblocks are bringing in many people who are drinking and driving, putting a halt on crime, and protecting those on the roads right? Wrong. Roadblocks today have become completely ineffective, and quite frankly useless. Law enforcement entities are not really catching anyone that is drinking and driving, but more or less just trying to help meet a ticket quota for necessary paperwork that some drivers have that is expired.

More or less, the roadblocks are not bringing in any individual’s that are drunk driving simply because they either do not get on that road when hearing about it, or just do not get on the road and wait to get on at a later time. Also, technology has also allowed individuals to find out where officers are stationed for speeding spots, and even roadblocks, which also helps those who drink and drive.

Overall, roadblocks are a way of the past and continue to be a waste of American’s hard earned money that goes to taxes. A new method needs to be devised in order to catch those that are drinking and driving, but also be a successful form of law enforcement that is bringing results constantly to the citizens of what every county, or state is paying for them.

At The DUI Clinic, we like to say that friends don’t let friends plead guilty. While many people who have been charged with a DUI are proven guilty, many are not. We can help you level the playing field and get the best results for you. Our goal is to minimize the impact of a DUI charge on your life. Call us today at 888-4-DUI-CLINIC to get you started on your DUI case now.

Stopped in Kansas after Drinking Alcohol: What Do You Do? [Part II]

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

This is the second of a two-part article on how to handle being pulled over by a police officer if you have been drinking.  While the article can be read alone, we encourage you to read Part I of the article first.

Remain Calm

This might seem obvious, but the inability of a driver to control their emotions during a Kansas DUI stop can lead to an array of mistakes.  Because drivers pulled over for DUI may never have had more than a speeding or parking ticket, the encounter can be much more intimidating than most people imagine until they are in the middle of the confrontation with a police officer.  People often nervously blurt out damaging apologies, admission or apparent lies that simply make matters worse.  Many times a police officer pulls someone over and does not have sufficient legal cause to conduct a DUI investigation or arrest the driver for DUI.  The officer may be pulling you over for nothing more than a taillight being out.  If you remain calm and poised, you may avoid turning a molehill into a mountain.

Do Not Submit to FSTs or Portable Breathalyzer Testing

While the Kansas Implied Consent Statute means that you can face an administrative suspension of your license for refusing to submit to chemical testing, this does not apply to FSTs or a breath test using a portable breath test device in the field.¬† Both FSTs and the portable breath test are designed to create probable cause for a DUI arrest.¬† This battery of testing is designed to put you in jail not ‚Äúget to the truth.‚Ä̬† You should be polite and respectful when you decline, but you should refuse to submit to the testing.¬† The officer may arrest you anyway but your refusal is not evidence of guilt because you have no legal obligation to submit to such testing.

Ask If You Are Free to Leave

If you have declined FSTs and/or portable breath testing, the officer may either arrest you or send you on your way.¬† If the officer arrests you and has no other evidence other than that which led to the initial stop (i.e. swerving out of your lane), any DUI charges may be based on nothing more than the formal chemical test conducted later.¬† This testing is open to a wide array of challenges so you have helped build the basis for a strong defense strategy if this becomes the only real evidence of driving under the influence, especially if you are close to the legal limit.¬† If your blood alcohol level is .10 percent and there is reasonable delay between your stop and the chemical testing, your blood alcohol level may have risen during the interim.¬† This is known as the ‚Äúrising BAC defense.‚ÄĚ

The reason you should ask if you are free to leave is that it creates other rights by escalating the situation into a ‚Äúcustodial interrogation‚ÄĚ or arrest.¬† The reasonable suspicion that was the justification for the initial stop (using the swerving vehicle example) only permits the officer to briefly detain you and inquire further.¬† If the officer refuses to allow you to leave after conducting his initial inquiry without building additional evidence, this may create a basis for our experienced criminal defense team to file a motion to suppress evidence because your Miranda rights are violated.

Our Kansas City DUI defense law firm has helped thousands of people in Kansas and Missouri facing serious DUI charges. If you or someone you love has been arrested for DUI, you should contact The DUI Clinic of Hottman and Associates today!  DUI charges are serious but help is merely a phone call away at 913-262-4444.  Call today for your free no obligation initial case evaluation.

Stopped in Kansas after Drinking Alcohol: What Do You Do? [Part I]

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Many of us have experienced the feeling of dread that occurs while you are traveling down I-70 in Kansas or Missouri and suddenly see red flashing light in your rearview mirror.  The stress and anxiety that goes with being pulled over is even greater if you know that you have been drinking.  You may be overwhelmed with a wide spectrum of emotions including fear, anxiety and even guilt.  It is important to realize that people from all walks of life find themselves in your situation, but the outcomes of these encounters with law enforcement often turn out very differently depending on how they are handled.

The most effective defense to a potential Kansas DUI charge begins the moment you are pulled over.  Todd Hottman and the knowledgeable and experienced staff at the DUI Clinic of Hottman and Associates analyze every aspect of your DUI stop, DUI investigation, DUI arrest and DUI chemical testing.  This means that what you do at the time of the stop can be as important as what happens when you submit to chemical testing after your arrest for driving under the influence.  In this two-part article, we have provided some suggestions for how to handle being pulled over in Kansas if you have been drinking.

Provide Identification but Do Not Volunteer Information

The officer will usually have stopped you because he or she observed a traffic violation like speeding or ‚Äúerratic driving‚ÄĚ, such as failing to maintain one‚Äôs vehicle in a lane.¬† If the officer pulled you over for either reason, you must provide the officer with your driver‚Äôs license, registration and proof of insurance.¬† You should not admit that you have been drinking or that you are coming from a place that serves alcohol like beer or wine.¬† The officer may use this type of admission as part of the evidence justifying a DUI investigation or subsequent DUI arrest.¬† The officer may even later visit the business to obtain evidence, such as credit card receipts, surveillance video or witness statements from servers.

The officer should tell you why you were pulled over, and you have a right ask if he or she does not do so.¬† If you are pulled over for speeding or a busted taillight, the officer needs more evidence before he can even conduct a DUI investigation.¬† The officer needs enough evidence that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to meet the legal standard of ‚Äúreasonable suspicion‚ÄĚ.¬† Speeding or a broken taillight does not create a basis for reasonable suspicion because neither activity suggests that a driver is committing a DUI offense.¬† If you do not voluntarily or unintentionally provide evidence that you may be driving under the influence in this situation, you may well drive away.

If the officer pulls you over for swerving in and out of your lane, the officer typically has reasonable suspicion when you are pulled over.  This only permits the officer to briefly detain you and inquire further.  The officer will look for signs that you have been drinking including alcohol on your breath, red watery eyes and slurred speech.  If the officer does not observe any of these signs, the officer generally should send you on your way.  The officer typically needs more to conduct a DUI investigation.  A common ploy in this situation is to ask if you will consent to field sobriety tests (FSTs).  The officer cannot force you to submit, and you should not do so.  Field sobriety tests are merely intended to justify having you submit to a portable breath test, which you are also free to decline.  The officer may arrest you anyway if you refuse these tests, but Mr. Hottman may be able to have the charges dismissed or will have a strong case to reduce any charges because without more the officer lacks probable cause (a higher standard than reasonable suspicion) to make an arrest.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for DUI, you should contact a Kansas City DUI attorney at The DUI Clinic of Hottman and Associates today!  DUI charges are serious but help is merely a phone call away at (913) 262-4444.  Call today for your free no obligation initial case evaluation.