How Does Excessively Talking To Police Potentially Affect You When Stopped?
Interviewer: What is the back story you hear from people who come to see you? Do they say, “Oh, I only had two beers” or “I should not have been arrested?”
Aaron: It used to be with almost every case someone would tell the officer, “I only had two drinks.” I saw that for years. More recently the trend I have been seeing is people telling the officer they had nothing to drink. That is what most people are told to do.
Go through a sobriety checkpoint. Tell the officer you had nothing to drink. If you tell them you had anything to drink, they are going to pull you over to the next officer and test you. Therefore, most people deny having any drinks.
Most people underestimate to the officer the number of drinks they had, and they overestimate the amount of time it has been since their last drink. That overestimating is actually a mistake. They think, “If I tell the officer I had drinks two hours ago they are not going to worry about me. They are going to keep going.”
It is a problem when we get to hearing at DMV or trial and we present when our client’s last drink was. It is in the police report that they told the cop it was two or three hours ago. Really it was 20, 30 minutes ago.
It is very tough to use the defense of a rising blood alcohol level because someone is still absorbing alcohol in their system. That is what was really happening, but they told the cop something else.
So if the cop does know you have been drinking, very often the best thing someone can let them know is the truth. The truth may be they just recently had that drink right before they got in the car.
So even if a little while later that breath or blood test is over the legal limit, we can make the argument that 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes before they got in the car they had the drink. Also, it is still absorbing in their system. Especially if they had food, it can take an hour or two for that alcohol to fully absorb into their systems.
By Aaron Bortel
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