Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Minnesota DWI Myths - Part 3 (Explained)
There are myths and then there are MYTHS. Here are some of the most common misconceptions regarding Minnesota DWIs that I'm often called on to respond to.
1. Sucking on pennies or using mouthwash will help lower your blood alcohol concentration result.
WRONG: Sucking on pennies or anything else that is copper will have no effect on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) result. As far as mouthwash or breath sprays go, these substances can actually inflate the amount of alcohol found in BAC results, not lower them. Both of these substances contain low amounts of alcohol that an advanced breathalyzer may be able to pick up.
2. You must take the Field Sobriety Tests.
WRONG: While the police are not required to tell you this, in the State of Minnesota, the law does not require that you perform any type of test, including a Field Sobriety Test. However, you should know that if you do refuse to perform this test, the officer will most likely arrest you. You should always take in your surroundings and consider whether or not you are able to successfully pass a field sobriety test before you out right refuse.
3. Field Sobriety Tests are always an accurate measure of a person’s BAC level.
WRONG: Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that people, even when they are sober, have difficulty correctly performing field sobriety tests. Several factors such as nervousness, fear, fatigue, weather conditions, leg/foot injuries, etc. can all have an impact on the results of a field sobriety test.
4. “Alcohol on the breath” is a reliable sign of alcohol intoxication.
WRONG: One fact that many people don’t know about alcohol is that it is actually odorless. What people are smelling when they perceive alcohol on the breath is the smell of the ingredients often included in alcohol. For instance, the breath of someone who has been drinking O’Douls Non-Alcoholic beer will smell the exact same as someone who has been drinking Budweiser. Therefore, breath odor strength estimates are completely unrelated to a person’s BAC level.
What Should You Do?
The number on myth I'd like to explode is this: I can defend myself effectively in this kind of case, if I just let the judge know the facts.
Sure, if you have a stomach ache - maybe it's okay to take in some Pebto. Or, if you have a headache - to self-diagnoses and pop a couple of Advil. However, if you break a bone or your appendix bursts - your best bet would be to talk to an expert. I'm sure no one would say that you should personally attempt to remove that appendix or set that bone.
If you're arrested for a Minnesota DWI, you need an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney to help you get past the many pitfalls and adverse consequences - criminal and civil - that lie in your path. Do yourself a favor and (at a minimum) consult with someone one who is experienced in the defense of DWI cases, and who is well versed on the law and facts regarding these offenses. Your investment in such representation is essential.