COMMON DUI CASE MISTAKES
If there is a breath test or there is a blood test after the blood test comes back there is an administrative action that is brought by the State of Kansas to limit, restrict, or suspend a person’s driving privileges. There is a strict timeline as to when they have to request a hearing concerning that action. Sometimes the worst penalty for a person is if they lose their driver’s license for a year and they cannot drive. Particularly in rural areas that I work in. We do not have a lot of public transportation. If people need to get to and from work, they need to be able to do their work which sometimes requires an automobile. So not responding to what is known as the DC-27, but the notice of suspension, they have fourteen days in order to make a request for a hearing.
Not requesting a hearing is the mistake that I see a lot of people making. The other thing that I see that has hurt people is when they use social media to advertise what a great time they had the night before and how they got arrested for a DUI. A lot of people put pictures on social media that they do not expect to get into the hands of the police and the prosecutor. That simply bolsters the state’s case against them. So not responding to the notice of suspension and frankly, making any announcement on social media about what a great time you had, what a big party it was, whatever it was, do not do so. That really applies to not only the night in question but generally people on social media posting things about having a party type life, because that affects how prosecutors look at the case.
Frankly, it affects how judges, if it ever comes down to sentencing, judges will view that person because it has become a regular practice of prosecutors to use social media. I have had more than one occasion where the picture of the party the night before has come back to haunt my client. The best advice is, if you get arrested for a DUI, talk to a lawyer the next day or as soon as possible. Certainly within five days of getting arrested.
THE IMPORTANCE OF RETAINING A QUALIFIED ATTORNEY TO DEFEND DUI CHARGES
You need to have somebody who has invested their time to read about anatomy, physiology, and to understand how drugs, alcohol in general, affect the human body. Although we are the same in many ways, each of us is uniquely different. So there are ten areas in breath testing that are in question whenever a breath test is done, because of physiology, physics, and the engineering of the machine. The machine is making assumptions about the generality of people when we are actually tested.
There is a difference between a breath test and a blood test. Most DUIs, although there is a growing trend to do blood tests, most testing is still done by breath testing which is much more suspect as a way of testing a person’s blood alcohol concentration, because it is an indirect test. It is not actually testing the blood; it is indirectly making assumptions about what the blood test is by what the concentration of breath is, the alcohol that is in a breath. That has to do with physiology and anatomy and probably is about an hour and a half to a three-hour lecture on engineering and breath analysis.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE DRIVING LICENSE WHEN SOMEONE IS FACED WITH DUI CHARGES?
When a person is arrested for a DUI the police officer is supposed to take the piece of plastic that they have as a driver’s license, and they will give them a copy of what is called the DC-27, or a notice of suspension. That pink piece of paper acts as their driving privileges for the next thirty days. They still have the ability to drive for the next thirty days. If they request the administrative hearing they will still have the privilege to operate or have a license to drive, until such time that administrative case is completed. If they take blood, they will not necessarily take their piece of plastic. They will wait until the blood tests are returned before they take that piece of plastic because that would be their evidence to show that the person was under the influence.
ARE RESTRICTED LICENSES OR HARDSHIP LICENSES AVAILABLE IN KANSAS?
Yes. If there is a suspension of driver’s privileges, either they do not request the hearing or they exhaust their administrative rights and the department has determined that they are going to go ahead and suspend their driving privileges. The law in Kansas now provides that a person can get a hardship license. It technically is called an application for modification of suspension. If a person pays a fee, which is $100 to the department of revenue, and if the person is otherwise qualified, and there are restrictions on people who may not be qualified. For example, one of the many examples is if a person has ever been convicted of minor consumption, they would not be qualified to have a modification of their driver’s privileges or have that hardship license.
But if they are otherwise qualified, if they took the test, they have to wait forty-five days of no driving. Then if they are given the hardship license, they would be able to drive to and from work with the hardship license until the suspension period would run, and then there is usually a restriction after that, which is requiring an ignition interlock device be put in for one year up to a lifetime. But you get it, depending on what number of DUI it is, they would have that restriction after that period of time. On a first time offense with a breath test of more than .15% it would be a forty-five days no driving, and then the rest of that year drive to and from work, and then another year after that they can drive wherever they want, but they have to have the ignition interlock device placed in their vehicle.
For more information on Mistakes In A DUI Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 785-380-0214 today.