Most law enforcement officers are fine and decent people who do not lie. Due to political pressure, over zeal, or other reasons, some use aggressive techniques. Some of these techniques border on shading the truth for the purpose of making arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Unimpaired drivers should be aware of these traps. The “Client’s Rights” column is not legal advice to you since every case is different.
|The Lie||The Truth||Client's Rights|
|1. I stopped you because you were swerving over the center line, or fog line, or shoulder.||I know I can't really stop you for a momentary crossing of the line, but I did and now I'm on the alert for the odor of alcoholic beverage.||Say nothing|
|2. Where are you coming from?||You're coming from a bar, aren't you?|
I want to hear your speech so I can testify that you are slurring your words.
|3. How much have you had to drink tonight?||I know you'll tell me "a couple" but later you'll tell me more.||Say nothing|
|4. Will you come on back to my car? I'll write you a warning ticket and get you out of here as soon as I can. Come on back so I can get everything right the first time.||I want you sitting in my car so that I can testify against you in court that the strong odor of alcoholic beverage is coming from you!|
I would like you to be intimidated by my show of authority so that you will be cooperative and give me all the information I need to arrest you.
|I don't want to go back to your squad car, are you ordering me to? Am I under arrest? If not, can I go?|
|5. Is there anything wrong with your eyes, can you follow my finger while keeping your head straight and arms at your sides?||I'm going to perform an HGN test on you. It is kind of scientific. I'm trained to do it and find the necessary clues to convict you.||I will not perform that test.|
|6. Are you able to do a few tests so I can get you on your way?||I want you to try to perform some acrobatic tests guaranteed to fail. Even if you do well, I will score your performance very strictly, hold the most minute detail against you, and then I will arrest you for DUI.||I will not perform any tests.|
|7. Take a deep breath and blow into this tube||This is a PBT, portable breath instrument, you have the absolute right not to blow into it, but I'm not going to tell you that. It may not be admissible at trial of your criminal case, but it is admissible to prove probable cause for your arrest, so I'm going to tell you it is not admissible in court.||I will not blow into the tube.|
|8. I have to read you this, you have a right to remain silent...||I'm going to say this in a calm voice, almost apologetically, and then I'm going to ask you some more incriminating questions which you will answer because your guard is down.||Exercise your Constitutional Right to Remain Silent!|
|9. I am reading you the incredibly long and laborious Warning to Motorist, making sure you understand that your license will be suspended longer if you don't consent to breath or blood testing.||It is not a crime to refuse or decline breath or blood testing. Your licencse will be summarily suspended longer if you refuse. If you consent your license will not be suspended as long, but you will be giving me all the evidence I need to convict you, and then your license will be revoked, not just suspended.||I will not take the test.
There is no "right" to refuse the test, but the penalty for refusing the test is not a crime.*
|10. You don't need an attorney, that will just cost you money, you've been cooperative, and I'll tell the State's Attorney that.||I don't want to go to court and be grilled about anything I did wrong, just make it easy on me and confess.||Exercise your Constitutional right to be represented by an attorney!|
* The prosecution will say that you knew you were guilty, and that’s why you refused the test. Your attorney can say that you were vigilant in exercising your rights. They can also say that you knew you were not guilty, and you didn’t need an electronic gadget to prove it.