Lets assume that you have been placed under arrest and transported to a jail or police station and offered the opportunity to blow in a breathalyzer machine. The machine is not perfect but judges tend to assume it is, as do most juries, so this is a critical moment for you. The decision to blow or not to blow is a really complex decision affected by many factors:
- How many times have I been convicted for a DUI in the last 5 years?
- How drunk am I?
- Are there any aggravating circumstances?
The aggravating circumstances in Kentucky are:
- Speeding 30 mph over the limit
- Going the wrong way on a one way street
- Causing an accident resulting in death or serious injury
- And the big one, driving with alcohol concentration of .18 or higher.
If convicted with aggravating circumstances, the penalties double, including jail and fines. You have the right to consult a lawyer by phone, if you can get one on the phone in the middle of the night. I would be very hesitant to advise a prospective client on such an important decision over the phone without knowing them and seeing them. No one admits that they were too drunk to drive, and realized it before they got behind the wheel. You are really on your own here. Here are a few guidelines to follow:
- If it is your first offense, you probably should blow unless you are really drunk, stink-o, weaving all over, stumbling, in other words above a .18. If you are really drunk you run the risk of double the jail time and fines. If you do not blow you will have your license suspended for up to six months however if you get a lawyer this may become negotiable. If you blow above a .18 you need an attorney who may be able to negotiate a settlement that will not be this harsh.
- If it is a multiple offense for you think hard before you blow. Don’t blow if you are really drunk as explained above, under any circumstances! A third offense becomes a felony if you blow a .18 or better. That means 1 to 5 years in thestate pen!
- If you do blow ALWAYS ask for a blood test; the cops will try to talk you out of it, ignore them. If they don’t have the test administered within a reasonable time, through no fault of yours, you can suppress the breath test you just took.
Many lawyers will probably disagree with this discussion and of course each case is different. A few facts changed can mean that your course of action should have been different. Driving under the influence is always a risky proposition. One thing that all lawyers agree upon , you must hire a lawyer if you are charged with a DUI, whether you are guilty or not. The DUI laws are complex and very serious, call a lawyer immediately. All will talk to you and some will give you a free appointment to discuss your case.