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Criminal Defense – The DWI Myth

There is a common myth that your DWI arrest will be reduced to a lesser charge if you refuse to take the breath test or perform the field sobriety tests. This simply isn’t so. In many instances there is additional evidence that the police can rely upon to support a conviction even when you refuse these tests. For starters, the police will have the traffic infraction that they can rely upon for coming into contact with you. Here, they will argue that your manner of driving was so erratic that once could only conclude that you were impaired. Secondly it is very common for police officers to describe their interactions with you in a manner suggesting your impairment. For example, the police will claim they could smell the odor of alcohol on your breath; your eyes are red or glassy; and that your speech was slurred. These observations are independent upon whether or not you took any of the field sobriety tests or the breathalyzer test. Thirdly, should the police officer observe any open containers or drugs in your car that too will be documented and used as evidence to support a conviction even when you do not take any tests. Lastly, the typical DWI arrest require the police to engage the driver in their standardized questionnaire.

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