Can You "Twitter" Your Way Out of a DUI?
Article provided by The Law Offices of Howard Weintraub, P.C.
Recent statistics indicate that Social Networks and Blogs are now ranked above personal email for online activity. The Internet is a wonderful asset that we use daily for both professional and personal reasons. However, with all this technology, the Internet can also be a double-edged sword when it is not respected for the mighty power it wields.
In addition to online media, technological advancements have also reached our law enforcement agencies. For example, during a routine traffic stop, more often than not, you are being video taped with accompanying sound audio. These tapes will be used as evidence against you in later court proceedings. Most of us have shared in a laugh from watching one of those television segments showing an actual DUI stop. Although it is not humorous that the person obviously was drunk while driving, we sometimes chuckle at the excuses and comments given to the arresting officer by the driver. With the increasing popularity of law enforcement reality TV shows, YouTube® now finds itself host to thousands of actual DUI arrest videos. One of the most popular hits on YouTube® being a DUI/DWI on a riding lawnmower. So whether you live in Atlanta, Georgia, Los Angeles, California, or anywhere in between, and whether you are in your car, on your boat, or even on your lawnmower, if you are not careful, you could end up being your city’s next DUI star.
Twitter® and Facebook® are wonderful venues to stay connected with family and friends. However, posting a copy of your mug shot and posting the details from your DUI arrest could be detrimental to your forthcoming court proceedings, as well as harm you professionally throughout the years to come.
The MySpace® generation is just now beginning to learn the damaging affects of posting information about a drunk driving arrest. Blog postings, YouTube® and personal podcasts can be detrimental in your criminal proceeding – do not make yourself the prosecutor’s best witness by documenting evidence against yourself on the Internet. Once something is posted online it will never go away even if you delete it. Information can be copied and posted to places that you are not even aware of and will be viewed for years to come by potential employers or business prospects. Posting a recap of your DUI/DWI arrest whether you were maneuvering the golf cart, or riding the lawn mower, or navigating the boat, or driving the car may be humorous for today’s Blog, but tomorrow it can be financially devastating to your professional career. You cannot sue yourself for defamation of character.
Naturally, abstaining from alcohol is the wise choice when you are going to be driving. However, if you are pulled over for a traffic violation or at a DUI sobriety check roadblock always be polite and respectful to the officer.
The police are looking for supposed signs of impairment. They are listening to hear if you supposedly slur your words; they are looking to see if your eyes supposedly are red or bloodshot; they are trying to observe the proverbial strong odor of alcohol upon your breath; and they are looking to see if you supposedly have trouble locating you driver’s license. Always avoid talking any more than is absolutely necessary; idle conversation can be used against you to try to confirm that you were impaired by alcohol. If you are asked, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" it is advisable to always answer “no” since you can’t be 100% positive as to why you were stopped. If asked, “Have you been drinking?” replying with a “yes” will most likely lead you to being arrested. If you lie, you could possibly face additional charges. The best answer is "I'd rather not say or I'd rather not answer." Of course this is a rhetorical question as the officer already supposedly has observed the odor of alcohol before he asked you the question.
You have the right to refuse to take the field sobriety tests but a police officer will perceive this refusal as a sign of you being "uncooperative" or even a sign of you trying to conceal your alcohol impairment. It is your choice alone as to undergo the supposed field sobriety tests as the police officer cannot force you to engage in these physical tasks. Just remember, your actions and words will most likely be captured on video.
DUI / DWI cases are complex. Therefore, it is extremely important to hire a lawyer that specializes in DUI / DWI’s. Do not ever assume that your case is hopeless because you blew over the legal limit on the State-administered breath test. There are a multitude of factors that an experienced DUI/ DWI attorney can draw from, beginning with the actual validity of the stop, the administration and scoring by the officer of the supposed field sobriety tests, your medical health history, and several other factors that can refute the evidence being presented against you by the prosecutor. In actuality, the video recording of your encounter with the officer can be your best witness.
It is advisable to immediately retain an experienced criminal defense DUI / DWI attorney if you or your loved one has been arrested for drunk driving. Doing so is the best way to protect your rights and avoid costly mistakes.
Yes, you may be able to Twitter® your way out of a DUI conviction by…
T –Talk respectfully to law enforcement.
W – Watch what you say and do.
I – Idle conversation can indicate alcohol impairment so choose your words carefully.
T – Taking field sobriety tests may not be in your best interest.
T – Ten Day Rule (Filing a request for an administrative license suspension hearing within 10 days of your arrest) also applies in other states besides Georgia.
E - Engage & Retain an experienced DUI / DWI lawyer if ever arrested for DUI.
R - Rights! Remember, you have RIGHTS that need protecting.
My best advice: Never drink and drive. “It is far better to be ON Facebook® than to FACE being BOOKED”!
2010© Copyright Howard J. Weintraub, P.C.