Author Topic: The Breathalyzer  (Read 3710 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fast Eddie B

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3312
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2018, 01:01:07 PM »

The host was dismissed as an alternate.
He found out later that she had been convicted.
Apparently if a cop just says you are guilty, you are guilty?

Or there’s more to the story than presented here.

Generally, if we got readings below the limit, the DUI charge was dropped. Enough good cases to make that you don’t waste time and resources on the marginal ones. Other charges, such as whatever triggered the stop in the first place, may still stand.

Depending on the state, it may not be enough to prove the driver was impaired - laws often specify that it’s illegal to drive while impaired by a specific substance, so that’s what the state needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 01:54:18 PM by Fast Eddie B »

Offline Eternally Learning

  • Master Mr. a.k.a. Methodical Loaf
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9109
  • Break a leg, badger!
    • Get Past The 140 Character Limit!
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2018, 01:32:49 PM »
The only times I've seen that is when there is evidence they are intoxicated by something else as well. I think they have to blow double 00s to have a Drug Recognition Expert evaluate them, but if there were drugs or paraphernalia in the vehicle, and the circumstances prior to arrest were bad enough (like, perhaps multiple other drivers reported them for their driving and they also crashed their car), then they have plenty of reason to say she was intoxicated.

Offline Fast Eddie B

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3312
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #47 on: November 18, 2018, 01:58:35 PM »
Pretty sure it was not against the law to simply drive while intoxicated. You had to show intoxicated by a certain specified substance covered by statute.

I had a case where the driver was driving horribly, then refused to stop and we followed him all the way those house. Turned out it was some sort of diabetic or hypoglycemic episode, not drugs or alcohol.

Offline Tassie Dave

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2323
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #48 on: November 18, 2018, 02:23:51 PM »
Pretty sure it was not against the law to simply drive while intoxicated. You had to show intoxicated by a certain specified substance covered by statute.

I had a case where the driver was driving horribly, then refused to stop and we followed him all the way those house. Turned out it was some sort of diabetic or hypoglycemic episode, not drugs or alcohol.

That's not intoxicated  ??? It's a medical episode.
I'm pretty sure it is against the law to drive while intoxicated (drug or alcohol)

The case, mentioned above, of the woman below the limit yet still convicted, we don't have enough information to judge whether she was unfairly treated.
There are multiple reasons why you can be convicted for having "any" alcohol in your system.

i.e. serial DUI offender with a "zero blood alcohol limit" as a condition of getting their license back


Offline Fast Eddie B

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3312
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #49 on: November 18, 2018, 03:38:43 PM »

I'm pretty sure it is against the law to drive while intoxicated (drug or alcohol)


Of course. I did not mean to imply it wasn’t. 

Only there was no “general, non-specific intoxication” statute in FL when I worked there. I may look up to see what the language is now.

But again, different states, different laws.

Offline The Latinist

  • Cyber Greasemonkey
  • Technical Administrator
  • Too Much Spare Time
  • *****
  • Posts: 7892
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #50 on: November 18, 2018, 03:57:39 PM »
In CT the law prohibits operating while under the influence of “intoxicating liquor” or “any drug” or with an elevated blood alcohol level. I believe that under this law a person may be convicted of operating under the influence based on testimony establishing things like the odor of alcohol on the breath, that the person was seen drinking, the presence of drugs and drug paraphernalia, an open container of alcohol, etc., combined with unsafe operation even in the absence of chemical test results.  Of course by far the most common kind of charge is one resulting from failed chemical tests, but I think they left the alternative route for use in extreme cases if for some reason a chemical test could not be obtained within the required period.

But IANAL.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline SkeptiQueer

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7736
  • DEEZ NUTZ
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #51 on: November 18, 2018, 04:53:25 PM »
Missouri law:

Quote
577.010.  Driving while intoxicated — sentencing restrictions. — 1.  A person commits the offense of driving while intoxicated if he or she operates a vehicle while in an intoxicated condition.


 (13)  “Intoxicated” or “intoxicated condition”, when a person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or drug, or any combination thereof;

Quote
577.012.  Driving with excessive blood alcohol content — sentencing restrictions. — 1.  A person commits the offense of driving with excessive blood alcohol content if such person operates:

  (1)  A vehicle while having eight-hundredths of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood; or

  (2)  A commercial motor vehicle while having four one-hundredths of one percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood.

Excessive BAC (.08 for non-commercial, .04 for commercial) is a separate offense entirely from DWI. You can be DWI if you're well under the limit.
HIISSSSSSSS

Offline moj

  • beer snob
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 10119
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2018, 10:09:44 AM »
In DC it's zero tolerance so even if you are at .01 if the cop thinks you are impaired, they can charge you with DUI. I know people who have gotten DUI for smoking weed and have no alcohol and weed is legal in DC. Cops have an incredible amount of leeway when deciding on whether to charge someone with a DUI or not.

This may get long but have a story very relevant to this but maybe TLDR for many. Here goes. I got a DUI in 2003 when living in a small college town in WV. It was really dumb, I didn't normal drive when drinking and have not picked up the habit since. We uber/lyft if we drink and very much in favor of strict DUI laws but think there is room to improve the process. For me it was 2am had been at party but remembered I left my car parked in town and not at home like normal. It was parked two blocks from my house but in spot that reserved for the farmers market and would get towed at 4am so I drove it the 2 blocks home. At a stop sign did not use a turn signal but didn't see anyone on the road. I missed that there was a cop in a near by ally or somewhere? He got his lights on as I pulled into my driveway. I was home but failed the field test. I was arrested, went to jail(holding cell) then when at court plead guilty. I lost my licences for 6 months, had a fine and do more jail but only totally 24 hours. It sucked, but in the grand scheme of things not at all the worst part. And had to take DUI classes. Once I lost my licences then lost my job because that was the only way to get to work. The only work I could find in walking distances was washing dishes and even working at 2 restaurants washing dishes was not able to make enough money to get by. I become homeless or more like couch surfing for awhile but ended up having to move back in with my parents in northern VA. Once back in VA was able to get a VA drivers license because back then states didn't really communicate these things. I went back to school while working, got my shit together moved to DC and was able to get a DL no problem. I forgot all about the WV DUI classes but they did not forget about me. In September of this year went to renew my DC drivers licences and can't because WV has a hold on it.
  To get it back need to complete the DUI classes. In DC the amount of hours you need to complete is higher than WV, so now instead of 12 hours of classes it's 24 and can only take them 2 hours at a time. Every Thursday for 3 months I have go the these classes with about 30 other people and talk about drinking. Its not like AA, it's just a program run by the city, it also cost 45$ per class so will be about 1000 once done. After that is complete I have to snail mail 125$ money order to the WV health and human services. Not sure how I will know when they get it, but that's the only payment they accept, not sure why I am paying them? After they get paid and check the box, I then have to go to the WV DMV pay them an admin fee so they can check off it off there box. Then I can go back to the DC DMV and get my licenses but will probably have to take the written and maybe driving test again.
      What I've learned from the classes? A lot of black and brown people get charged with DUI's that have not been drinking(ETA some for weed, one for an empty bottle under the passenger seat, I think most where racially targeted and charged with anything that might stick). True or not a lot of people claim you can beat the breathalyzer by sucking on a handful of dirty pennies(eww). A lot of people also say it's better to refuse the breathalyzer if you think you will blow high. Yes it's an extra charge that takes you straight to jail for a short term, but maybe better than a high score long term. Seems risky to me, but there was a consensuses in the room that that was the move?
  While I do take full responsibility for my actions, it was totally stupid on my part. I should have fixed this years and years ago, it's also kind of frustrating being in class with many people who got a DUI now, in 2018 and are still driving. In a city like DC with decent public transportation and tons of lyft/uber/cabs am shocked that it seems like most of them are getting less of a punishment than me. They are still driving and because I missed classes almost 16 years ago am not and won't be able to drive legally till early 2019 at the earliest. Thankful that we do live near metro and have a wife who can drive. 
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 12:30:29 PM by moj »

Offline seamas

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2467
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2018, 01:21:15 PM »
Several years ago I was having a conversation with a judge who is a friend of a friend.
I think we were talking about search and seizure, and he said pretty adamantly that of you ever get pulled over never blow.

Well about two years ago I got pulled over. I spent the early part of the night playing guitar with a friend, had a beer,  then on my way home stopped off at a growler shop and bought a growler of beer and had a glass. So over the course of 2.5 hours I had two relatively mild beers, so wasn't inebriated.

The State Trooper was following me up a hill, basically tailgating me--I couldn't tell it was a cop because his lights we so bright. Once I caught a good look at his car I made sure to be exactly the speed limit. He continued to follow me for another 1/4 mile before pulling me over.

The reason he was tailing me in the first place: Broken tag light (something half the cars don't even have)
He then got me going 45 in a 30. Around here most cops wouldn't pull you over for that, but I was pretty much going 45 because he was tailgating me.

Anyway, he asked where I was going, where I came from, had I had anything to drink. Told him I just came from the growler shop and had a beer.
So he decides to do the sobriety test. I notice that he had another trooper in the car with him.

I go through the field sobriety test, and its not a problem for me at all. I figure I am done.
He requests a breathalyzer. I refuse.
He asked why, I told him a judge told me to never blow. At this point the other Trooper comes forward, tells me he is training the other trooper and informed me of the laws regarding the field brethalyzer.
The results of the field breathalyzer is NOT admissible in court, however if they decide suspicion of me being intoxicated they will take me into jail where I would be administered a chemical blood analysis, which IS admissible. It is also a violation to refuse a roadside brethalyzer.
He decides to have me redo the field test (checks eyes, balance, etc), and tells me to go back to my car. 10 minutes later he gives me three summons: broken taglight (which I can take care of in 24 hours with no fine), a speeding ticket and the refusal to blow ticket. I was free to go.

The whole think took about an hour so my wife was a little pissed that I was so much later than I thought.
The next morning, I looked up the penalty for refusal to blow. I could lose my license for a year.
Time to lawyer up
The next day I spoke to my friend (who is also my boss) about his friend the judge who gave me the advise. I told my friend/boss/ guy I play guitar with the story.
Luckily  he knows a good number of people in the area and got me in touch with a lawyer.
I spoke to the lawyer on the phone, he was a bit surprised that the trooper gave me that summons and let me drive home. He decided to squash the fly with a hammer and gave me the phone number of his father, who is also a lawyer.
Now, this guy was something else. about 79 years old, a decidedly humble home office, but he is a retired brigadier general in the Army reserves, had numerous photos of himself as a young man in vietnam and other places with people like Westmorland, etc, later he was Police Chief of a different town in the county for about 25 years and then became a lawyer in his 50s.
Needless to say he is a guy  that the judges in the area have enormous respect for.
He thought the ticket for the tag light was "complete bullshit" and was well aware of cops tailgating people to see if they accelerate. He said what probably happened was that since the senior trooper was training the newbie, he was being extra thorough. But them letting me go should have meant NOT giving me a violation for refusal.
He managed to look up case law, saw another case in the state district just like mine that was dismissed, so managed the same for me on precedent. No penalties, no fines, no suspended license.

Obviously, this situation was decided this way because of jurisdiction, so it could be very different in another state--or even in a different district.

Ever since then, I am always within a mile or two of the mph and I REALLY limit my drinking if I drive.

I appologise for the long post.

Offline 2397

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2832
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2018, 01:42:15 PM »
In Norway and several other European countries, the blood alcohol limit is 0.02%. Which as far as I can tell is one drink.

Offline The Latinist

  • Cyber Greasemonkey
  • Technical Administrator
  • Too Much Spare Time
  • *****
  • Posts: 7892
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2018, 02:01:34 PM »
Connecticut has implied consent laws. Refusal to submit to a breath, blood, urine analysis will result in suspension of  license for 45 days and imposition of an ignition interlock device (1 year for first offense, 2 years for second offense, and 3 years for third offense). Drivers subject to ignition interlock device may not drive any vehicle not equipped with such a device.  The penalties are as great or greater than for failing the test.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline arthwollipot

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8975
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2018, 04:14:16 PM »
"Growler"?
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him.

Tarvek: There's more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it.
Agatha: If that's what you think, then you're DOING IT WRONG!

Offline seamas

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2467
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2018, 04:54:19 PM »
"Growler"?

A 64 oz container of draft beer.

Offline arthwollipot

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8975
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #58 on: November 19, 2018, 05:55:26 PM »
"Growler"?

A 64 oz container of draft beer.

How much is that in real units?

(click to show/hide)
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him.

Tarvek: There's more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it.
Agatha: If that's what you think, then you're DOING IT WRONG!

Offline Tassie Dave

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2323
Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2018, 01:11:08 AM »
"Growler"?

A 64 oz container of draft beer.

How much is that in real units?

(click to show/hide)

That's 4 schooners and a foursie  ;)

 

personate-rain