Many of our attorneys here at Price Benowitz are avid New York Giants fans and looking forward to the big game. GO GIANTS! But at the same time we are preparing for a busy Monday morning and the influx of phone calls for a DUI lawyer from prospective clients who received criminal traffic charges on the way home from Super Bowl festivities.
DUI charges pose significant consequences, even if you have not been convicted. Take University of Maryland's Assistant Basketball Coach for instance. Last month, he was charged with drunk driving in Anne Arundel County, MD and experienced a severe aftermath through both the media and the University. Aside from his mug shot being plastered in the papers, the Terps Assistant was suspended for at least two games and faces an automatic six months license revocation for having refused to provide breath samples to law enforcement. The latter consequence happens to any driver who refuses to provide test sample when requested, pursuant to implied consent laws. DC, MD, and VA all have the same law but with different penalties. While Maryland imposes an automatic 6-month license revocation for refusal, the District and Virginia impose automatic revocation for an entire year.
Keeping this penalty in mind, the decision of whether or not to provide a test sample becomes all that more complex. If you provide the sample, be it by breath test, urine test, or blood test, you supply authorities with evidence against yourself. If your blood alcohol content was particularly high, you may face increased penalties and, in some cases, jail time. If you choose not to give a sample, you face an automatic and un-rebuttable license revocation for 6 months to a year depending on your location.
The DC Metropolitan Police Department now exclusively imposes urine testing on DUI suspects and makes arrests on the basis of field sobriety tests alone. This testing system hails from the faulty breathalyzer machines that the Department failed to maintain that resulted in hundreds of wrongly convicted drivers. Be aware also that field sobriety tests are designed for you to fail if you have consumed even a small amount of alcohol; seriously, try one during halftime just to see for yourself.
While the D.C. system for DUI possesses flaws in and of itself, the better option is to avoid getting involved with it in the first place. There will be uncountable road checkpoints set up for this entire weekend. Plan ahead and arrange for alternative transportation after the game. However, should you find yourself in a bit of a DUI pickle, a DUI attorney is ready for you call. We will continue to fight for the rights of our clients and strive to achieve the best possible outcome for each and every one. We will attempt to minimize alternative penalties as well as legal ones, including license suspension, employment and security clearance consequences, and insurance issues.
To drive or not to drive, or, to test or not to test...it is up to you which decision to face post-game. Either way, have a safe and happy Super Bowl celebration from your friends at Price Benowitz LLP.