Thursday, April 10, 2008

Demanding Professional Ignorance

Another reason to refuse the Intoxilyzer breath test is the ignorance we demand from our law enforcement officers who administer it. The Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer, Robert Guest, points out here the police are trained to be stupid when it comes to the breath testing machine:
Here is how the manual instructs officers to answer questions about the breath test machine, the Intoxilyzer 5000.

From the manual

"You are not required to know, and in fact know nothing, about the Intoxilyzer 5000, or your jurisdiction breath test instrument, its internal workings or anything other than how to operate it and take a breath sample from a defendant.... Never testify to its internal workings, or the defense attorney will discredit you and make you out to be a "thinks-he-knows-it-all who really knows nothing."

A typical breath test room contains the officer and the DWI suspect. That means NO ONE in the breath machine room knows how the Intoxilyzer works!! Another reason why you should have the right to counsel before BAC testing.

Bottom line? Don't take the breath test (or blood test for that matter). Politely, yet firmly, inform the officer soliciting a sample you want to counsel with an attorney before submitting to any test. The officer will, of course, reject your entreaty and note your refusal to submit to the taking of a sample. Even though your refusal can be used as evidence against you, we'd rather explain a refusal than a .250.

The best advice? Don't drink and drive at all. Stay home. Call a cab. Be safe.

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