MEMORIAL DAY 2016: HOW TO AVOID TROUBLE

By Dale Gribow

The Memorial Day Weekend is upon us and that means parties, drinking, driving and accidents. You or a friend may have consumed more beers than you realized resulting in a DUI or Auto Accident.

Karen Devine’s recent ABC report alerted us that there will be many checkpoints within a week of Memorial Day. To avoid this aggravation, DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE or TEXT. Call a Taxi or Uber…….it is a lot cheaper than calling me. The RSO warns us to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

After a DUI or PI Accident, your life will be forever changed because of a possible license suspension, jail and injuries. You worked to keep a clean record and now you worry about increased insurance rates from the DUI or at fault accident… each generating 2 points.

With DUI’s most drivers believe they were "not drunk" and should win their case because they did not deserve to be arrested. The reality of life is that you do not have to be drunk, you merely have to be under the influence or impaired. That is a function of not just how many drinks you consumed, but how much alcohol was in each drink …as well as the time lapse and weight.

Then you see advertisements for DUI & PI lawyers on TV, the yellow pages or you get letters from out of town lawyers offering to help you……….and you don’t know what to do. Anyone can advertise they handle PI’s and DUI’s and many of these lawyers are not experienced, local and do not know the local judges, DA’s etc.

With a DUI stop the Officer asks the driver to exit the vehicle & asks questions. Most drivers (and lawyers) don’t know the Breath Test and Field Sobriety Test (FST) at the scene are OPTIONAL. These tests can only hurt their case. It is arguable that taking a Blood Test at the police station or hospital is preferable. Many believe with the passage of time the reading will decrease by the time the blood is drawn………..unless the driver just chugged a drink and the alcohol had not yet gotten into the blood system. The average driver is not aware that it takes about an hour for the alcohol to go into your blood stream and an hour to come out…………but now YOU DO!

The officer will tell the driver that he smells alcohol on their breath and asks where and how much s/he was drinking. However, The "Dose Makes the Poison"! In other words it’s the Amount of Alcohol, NOT the Number of Drinks that are Important.

Clients often swear they only had one drink but the legal system looks at the total amount of alcohol not the number of drinks. One drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 ounces of wine or 1 ounce of alcohol. Thus when someone uses a red Costco 16 oz. cup and fills the cup with Vodka and tops it off with OJ they are consuming 10-12 ounces of alcohol or 10-12 drinks. If the driver weighs 110 lbs. then before s/he finishes their 2nd drink they will probably be Under the Influence.

The law looks at whether the driver is Driving Under the Influence and the term Drunk Driving is a misnomer as one does NOT have to be drunk. IF one has a .08 reading then they are arguably under the influence/Impaired and the burden almost falls back upon the driver to prove s/he was not under the influence.

My best advice: "If you are arrested for a possible DUI and or having been in an Accident, DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE OTHER THAN YOUR LAWYER." SILENCE IS GOLDEN AND HANDCUFFS ARE SILVER. The sad fact is that law enforcement officers, DA and Insurance Co Adjusters are NOT your friends, no matter how much they tell you they are. They are just doing their job and trying to make a case based on the facts of your arrest.

"Though I am sometimes referred to as a criminal DUI defense lawyer, I choose to not view my clients as "criminals". I prefer to view them and more importantly to treat them as good, honest people that have found themselves in a scary and unfortunate situation."

I look upon my job as protecting the Constitutional Rights of every American who drinks and drives and gets arrested for a DUI.

I do however "Change Hats" when I SUE Drunk Drivers for damages to my Injured or Deceased (Wrongful Death) clients.

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, CALL A TAXI OR UBER………IT IS A LOT CHEAPER THAN CALLING ME … The RSO WARNS "DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER"

If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow Attorney at Law at 760-321-3302 or dale@dalegribowlaw.com.

DALE GRIBOW

"TOP LAWYER" – Palm Springs Life 2011-2016 (DUI)

10.0 AVVO Perfect Peer Rating

"Preeminent" Rating- Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory

"Best Attorneys of America" Selected by "Rue" (Limited to Top 100 Attorneys per state)

2015 Client Appreciation Award & Martindale Hubbell Client Distinction Award