The five myths of DUIs.
The first myth I hear all the time is, if I put a penny under my tongue when I take the breath test will it mess up the breathalyzer and not record my breath alcohol reading? This is a myth, it is not true. Many times this has been tried in the laboratory setting in fact it’s been tried on Myth busters. Putting a copper penny a dimer nickel or any coin in your mouth before you take a breath test will not affect the breath test reading. Despite that law enforcement usually requires a look at your mouth prior to the breath test to make sure that you have nothing inside. This is a myth it won’t work.
Number two: That you will be asked to take field sobriety tests and one of the tests you’ll be asked to do is to say your ABC’s backwards. This is a myth. One of the standardized tests that is given throughout the country in DUI investigation is called the Romberg alphabet test. This involves saying the alphabet without singing a rhyme in it, A-Z not backwards but frontwards. ABC backwards is a myth it’s not true you will not be asked to do it maybe in a movie but not in real life.
DUI myth number three: That if you’re arrested for DUI and you go down to the central breath test into the police station and you blow under the legal limit that you will be automatically let go and your case dismissed. This is false. If you blow under the legal limit which is .08 in most states, law enforcement will either ask you to take a urine test if appropriate or they will just process you and put you in county jail. You will still be required to raise a defense in that case it’s not automatically dismissed and you will not be let go. If you blow under the legal limit it just increases your chances of beating the case but it will not be dismissed automatically and the police will not let you go.
Myth number four: That if you refuse to take field sobriety tests and you refuse to take a breath test that the government has no evidence against you and they have to dismiss your case. This is a myth. Many times I see cases like this it’s called a double refusal. Meaning you refuse to take the breath test and you refuse to take field sobriety test. It may be more difficult for the government to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt but the government still has the ability to do this. Number one, they still have the observations of the law enforcement officer on how you walked, how you talked, how you interacted with him or her even though you didn’t do field sobriety test. They also have the ability to testify or bring in the court that you refuse to take a breath test and the jury is allowed to hear that you were given an option to take a breath blood or urine test and you refused and not only did you refuse but you gave up your license for a set period of time in order to prevent the jury from hearing what your blood alcohol level was. In most states the governments required to prove that you were driving a motor vehicle, that you were under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance and that your normal faculties were impaired, the ability to walk, talk, and judge distance. A prosecutor can still prosecute you if you refuse to do both breath test and don’t take the field sobriety test. That is a myth.
The final myth is this: I’ve been arrested for DUI and guess what the cop forgot to read me my rights, I guess my case gets dismissed. This is a myth. Miranda rights only apply to custodial interrogation and your statements that you make against your interest. If law enforcement can prove their case without using your statements against you they need not read Miranda. if Miranda rights or your rights were not read to you it may affect your statements but it does not automatically get your case dismissed.