The mere discussion of reducing the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit from .08 to .05 has caused a flurry of criticism and outrage from many. But reading this story about a man who was arrested when he was completely sober might leave some wondering whether the BAC limit even matters:


Sometimes, it seems as though just about anyone with a speech impediment or allergies could be arrested for DUI. Nine times out of ten, law enforcement will mark on their standardized forms that the driver exhibited “blood shot and watery eyes” and spoke with “slurred speech.”  These “clues” are generally considered sufficient for law enforcement to believe additional testing is necessary to determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol. The additional testing includes standardized field sobriety tests that drivers are notrequired to perform when an officer asks.

In the event that you encounter an overly zealous law enforcement officer, you should know your rights.  First and foremost, you have the right to remain silent.  You also have the right to refuse field sobriety testing.  Refusal to take a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) can result in a citation equivalent in severity to a speeding ticket.  Be aware, however, that refusing to take the breath test, blood test or urine test which is offered after arrest is an entirely different story.  In Kansas, by virtue of possessing a driver’s license, you have “consented” to this form of testing when a law enforcement officer has a “reasonable belief” that you are impaired.  If you refuse to submit to the post-arrest blood, breath, or urine testing, the consequences can be severe.

If you believe your rights have been violated during a DUI investigation, call the attorneys of the DUI Defense Team (Wichita (316-262-9393), Topeka (785-234-3272), or Lawrence (785-856-0143)) immediately!


By Chris Joseph