(DWI) and (DUI) FAQs
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) FAQs:
When can an officer pull me over?
Getting pulled over means being stopped by a police officer for an investigatory purpose and may also result in being detained for a brief period. In all contexts, DWI included, an officer may only do this if that office has reasonable suspicion of ongoing criminal activity. In this context criminal activity includes any traffic violations and even if you’re driving in itself is not a criminal act but raises reasonable suspicion that you are driving while impaired (DWI), then a police officer will have grounds to pull you over. Of course, those facts may be disputed to prove reasonable suspicion of a DWI. Detection and determination of reasonable suspicion are challenging, and most officers will follow you until they have sufficient cause. Once pulled over, as a DWI attorney and criminal defense attorney, I can provide a strong argument and defense that there is no criminal activity going on to raise suspicion and the detainment should have ended.
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When can an officer expand a traffic stop into a DWI investigation?
A traffic violation does not give the officer(s) authority to start a DWI investigation, namely requesting submission portable breathalyzer or a Field Sobriety Test. The officer must provide objective facts that you are impaired. Officers have found away around this, if you look at your police report or complaint, I can almost guarantee you will see some variation of “bloodshot and watery eyes” and “emanating the odor of alcohol.” Why? Because these are two indicators of impairment that are very challenging to overcome. Body-camera and dash-camera footage cannot prove the officer did not smell alcohol on your breath, and often do not show your eyes with enough clarity to rebut the officer’s testimony.
You need a DWI attorney with a unique approach. To dispute this, I pull public records of police reports involving the arresting officer in DWI charges. Most of the time, you will find the officers sight the same indicators. This can go to their credibility. It’s hard to believe everyone who drinks displays bloodshot and watery eyes, and therefore, their testimony is not credible. While creditability determinations are not made at a pre-trial stage, the inherent trustworthiness of their statements can raise argument in certain cases.
When can an officer arrest me for DWI or DUI?
In general, arrests for driving while intoxicated do not require a warrant although, there would have to be probable cause for the arrest. “[An officer] needs only one objective indication of intoxication to constitute probable cause to believe a person is under the influence.” State v. Kier, 678 N.W.2d 672, 678 (Minn.App. 2004). Objective indications include odor of alcoholic beverage, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, and uncooperative attitude Groe v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 615 N.W.2d 837, 840 (Minn. Ct. App. 2000). Some common questions I investigate to determine if the Officer is lying about observations for probable include: 1. Was the officer close enough and facing your line of breath directly? 2. Does the officer have a reporting pattern of citing emanating odor of alcohol every DWI arrest, even when the suspect is later proven to have no alcohol level? 3. Are your eyes clear in the booking photographs?
To rebut probable cause, you need a DWI attorney and criminal defense attorney who knows how to obtain the evidence you need. Max prides himself on affordable rates to make excellent representation available to all, including offering payment plans to those in need.
How can I fight the Field Sobriety Test after taking it?
If you took a field sobriety test, I fight the results of it. Field Sobriety Tests must be administered correctly, which means under the directions of the National Highway Safety Administration. I frequently see officers incorrectly administer Field Sobriety Tests. Beyond administering DWI Field Sobriety Test incorrectly, they also analyze the results incorrectly. If you felt the test is unfair, that is likely because it was. When the test isn’t done correctly, I will argue it cannot be used to establish intoxication level, and therefore, must be suppressed for those purposes.
What is the difference between the portable breathalyzer and the one at the station?
When can you fight breathalyzer accuracy in DWI cases?
Does an officer need to actually see me drive?
What if the delay was more than two hours between when you drove and when you were tested?
When can I speak with an attorney after being arrested for DWI but before submitting to a breathalyzer, blood or other chemical test?
A recent supreme court ruling held that blood tests cannot be given without a warrant, a former common practice in DWI arrests. In response, Minnesota changed their DWI statutes to remain constitutional. The Minnesota Supreme Court held as such because you are not “meeting your maker” in the same sense as a request for a breath test (warrants are reviewed by a neutral third-party judge).
Can an officer force me to take the breathalyzer or give my blood?
No, in both scenarios, the officers must respect your request and the only exception to this rule is if you are unconscious. This also goes for the Field Sobriety Test and portable breathalyzer administered on the road. If you were forced to take any test, as your DWI attorney, I can argue to suppress the results and ultimately take those out of consideration in a probable cause determination.
Should I take the PBT or Field Sobriety Test?
On the other hand, I would advise that you never take the Field Sobriety Test because they are near impossible to pass even if you are sober. Almost all the time, the Field Sobriety Test will hurt you and your case and although refusing to take the test will be again go toward probable cause, not taking the test will not adversely affect your circumstances as much as failing a test.
Can I choose what test I take (breath, blood or urine)?
Blood tests on the other hand require warrants and if an officer offers you a blood test, they must also offer you a urine test and vice versa, if an officer offers you a urine test, they must also offer you a blood test. For that reason, urine tests essentially require warrants.