Common Mistakes in Manassas DUI Cases
The two biggest mistakes that people make in the course of DUI cases in Manassas are first, answering the police question and second, taking the police tests. Every individual in Virginia during a traffic stop, and DUI is no exception, is required by a Virginia law to identify them self and produce a valid ID if they have one. If you are stopped for a DUI, it is important to know that you have the option to contact your Manassas DUI lawyer to consult for matters such as how to conduct yourself with the officer who stopped you. However, DUI stops often happen late at night, and therefore it may sometimes be difficult to get in touch with your DUI attorney at such an hour.
Fifth Amendment Protection in Manassas DUIs
The Fifth Amendment of the constitution guarantees individuals the right not to incriminate themselves. This includes not answering police questions. It also includes not taking any of the tests that the police want you to take. This includes the field sobriety tests and it also includes the preliminary breath test that’s administered at the side of the road.
In many cases, it may be advisable for an individual to refuse to take either the blood test or the breath test that is offered to them post-arrest. However, individuals should keep in mind that if they’re convicted of a refusal charge, that they will lose their license for a year without the possibility of a restricted driver’s license.
Incrimination For a BAC Under 0.08
Even if you are sure that your BAC is below a .08, it still does not make sense to take the preliminary breath test at the side of the road. Even if you are below 0.08, the result of that test can still be used to demonstrate that the officer has probable cause for arrest. Under Virginia law, if a person has even 0.07, 0.06 or 0.05 blood alcohol content, they can still be convicted of a DUI. If the government can show more evidence such as how the person performed the field sobriety test, how they walked, how they talked, what their behavior was, that they were, in fact, intoxicated, then they can still be convicted of DUI.
Taking that PBT test on the side of the road, because it can be used to demonstrate probable cause for arrest, takes away one of the better defenses that the Manassas DUI lawyer would have. Again, it still does make sense to take the test at the station, ultimately to show what the person’s blood alcohol is, but never at the side of the road.
Proper Breathalyzer Operations
A breathalyzer is a consistently accurate indicator of blood alcohol, but only if it’s used properly, if it’s properly maintained and it’s properly calibrated. If any of those three things are not true, then just like any other kind of device or machine, if not used properly, it’s not going to give the correct outcome. Therefore, it’s important in every case, to know whether the procedures were followed, whether the maintenance was done, and whether calibrations were performed. Otherwise, it’s simply not reliable evidence that the court should be basing any kind of judgment upon.