Roy Weddleton
  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 228-1360 • roy@granitelaw.com

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Ten Things You Need To Know About DWI

First of all . . . DON'T Drink and Drive!

Because of the increased awareness of drunk driving and the laws involving negligence, even if you have had a small amount of alcohol and you are not impaired, so long as you smell of alcohol, your chances of being arrested are very high.  The best way to avoid any problem is zero tolerance—don't drink anything and drive.  However, if you should be stopped it is important you know your rights and what the police can and cannot do.

  1. When you are initially questioned after your car is stopped, you need to identify yourself but you do not have to answer any questions about whether you were drinking.
  2. Field Sobriety Tests are completely voluntary.  If you have not been arrested, you do not have to perform them. IN FACT, YOU NEVER HAVE TO PERFORM THEM.

  3. Breath, bladder and urine tests to determine alcohol concentration are also voluntary prior to arrest.
  4. Once you are arrested, you have given "implied consent" to perform physical tests and examinations as well as alcohol concentration tests.  But, you have to be arrested first!

    However, if you refuse to do field sobriety tests or take a breathalyzer test, your license will be suspended for a first offense by the Department of Safety for six months and your refusal can be used against you in Court.  DWI still must be proved in Court beyond a reasonable doubt.
  5. Once you have been arrested, it is then the Officer is supposed to inform you of your "Miranda Rights", but if he does not the only penalty is that any statements you make after arrest may not be used against you in Court.
  6. Don't forget that any statements you make before you are arrested can be used against you.  The wise course is to say nothing.

  7. If you take the breathalyzer test and you fail, but you honestly believe it is inaccurate, without telling the police, go to the hospital as soon as possible after release and have a blood test taken.
  8. Always be polite and respectful to the Police.

  9. In Court there are three general issues that need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt:

    • Did the officer have probable cause to stop your car in the first place?
    • Did the officer have probable cause to arrest you?
    • Was the alcohol concentration test properly administered?

  10.  Retain an experienced DWI attorney to represent you.

If you have questions or want additional information,
call Attorney Weddleton at 603-228-1360 or e-mail him roy@granitelaw.com.
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