Are Miranda Warnings Required During a DUI Stop?


Many people believe that just because an officer doesn’t recite the Miranda warnings during a DUI stop their case will be dismissed. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. While most people know that Miranda warnings are usually recited at some point, very few people know exactly when they are required during a DUI stop.

As a reminder of why we have the Miranda warnings in the first place, for incriminating statements to be voluntarily given, the person making those statements must know that they have a right not to say anything in the first place. Thus, the Miranda warnings are recited to ensure that a person knows that they have a right not to say anything.

The general rule is that the officer must advise a person of their right to remain silent before a custodial interrogation. This means advising them of the right after a person has been arrested, but before questions are asked.

When an officer initiates a traffic stop, even if the officer already suspects that the driver is under the influence, the driver is not under arrest. The period following a DUI stop is considered a “preliminary investigation,” not an arrest.

The arrest occurs when the handcuffs are slapped around the wrists and the driver is placed in the back of the officer’s squad car. Now Miranda warnings are required, but only if the officers question the driver after the arrest.

Questions asked during the preliminary investigation, on the other hand, are not in violation of the Miranda rule. This includes the standard questions during a DUI stop; “Where are you coming from?” “How many drinks have you had today?” “When was your last drink?”

The driver’s answers to these questions will most certainly be used against them.

However, just because the Miranda warnings are not required after a DUI stop doesn’t mean that a driver has to answer the questions. The right to remain silent exists at all times. Exercise it! Simply respond to any questions with, “I respectfully decline to answer any questions under the 5th amendment. Am I under arrest or am I free to leave?”

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Anti-DUI Lawyer Arrested for DUI


David J. Maloney is known for his humorous commercials advocating his law firm and his strong stance against drunk drivers. He is a personal injury lawyer who has multiple commercials in which he states that he will not represent DUI offenders. One of his specialties include pursuing cases against drunk drivers.

This past weekend, Maloney was arrested on suspicion of DUI and for speeding on a Florida highway. When he was pulled over, the officer claimed that Maloney smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes. Maloney refused to take a sobriety test and denied having drank alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel. Maloney was then arrested and taken into custody. Maloney tried to talk himself out of the arrest but the officer did not budge. He was booked into Escambia County Jail. Several hours later, Maloney was able to secure his release. He is set appear in court on June 1st.

Maloney was behind the wheel while intoxicated, something he condemns in his commercials. Maloney’s website states “We aggressively pursue cases against irresponsible drunk drivers… We fight to get maximum compensation for injury victims who has suffered harm because of the senseless and selfish acts of irresponsible drunk drivers”. After this incident, he might change his point of view on drunk drivers. Multiple outlets have reached out to Maloney for comment from him but he has not returned calls.

Some individuals have left their opinions on the arrest on his Facebook page. There is no saying how this will affect his law firm.

It looks like Maloney, an Anti-DUI lawyer is going to need help from a DUI defense attorney.

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DUI Leads to Possible Suspended Medical License


Andrew Posselt of Mill Valley, California is not only facing probation following a DUI hit-and-run, but he is also facing a possible suspension or revocation of his medical license.

A year ago, two witnesses witnessed Posselt drive into two parked cars and then he fled the scene. Later, police contacted him and placed him under arrest for alleged DUI hit-and-run while he had his child in the car. Posselt had his blood-alcohol tests taken approximately 90 minutes after his arrest which showed his BAL at 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit for driving which is .08 percent.

Posselt was released on bail and the following month he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence with a child in the car. He was placed on probation for three years, ordered to attend DUI School, pay fines and fees, pay restitution, and complete 20 hours of community service.

Although this happened on Posselt’s day off, he is facing scrutiny from the medical board. They consider his actions “unprofessional conduct” because he put himself and a minor at risk.

Posselt “is a very reputable doctor”, according to his defense attorney, as he has been licensed with the medical board since 1995. He is a respected transplant surgeon at UCSF, he has been there over 20 years, and has never had any complaints.

The hearing for his case is currently pending. In the meantime, he will still be able to continue to practice and teach until a decision by the board has been made.

We will have to wait and see the board’s final decision. Losing his job over a simple mistake may not fair to Posselt. Hopefully, the board comes to its senses and lets him keep his medical license. A DUI in which no one was hurt is not a reason to lose your medical license.

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DUI Message in the Mirror


It wasn’t the alcohol that made the patrons of a local Los Angeles bar see things that they didn’t expect to see in the mirror of the bar’s restroom.

Instead of a reflection, bar goers were surprised to come face to face with a video of Kris Caudilla. Caudilla, fully clad in a prison jumpsuit, first introduced himself to the surprised bar goers and explained that he was speaking to them from prison. Caudilla went on to explain that in 2010 he was driving home drunk after a night of drinking with friends when his vehicle collided head-on with the vehicle of St. Johns County, Florida, Deputy James Anderson Jr.

Unbeknownst to the bar goers, the clips of Caudilla were prerecorded due to prison regulations. The bar goers, however, interacted with Caudilla as though they were speaking to him live.

The encounter between the bar goers and Caudilla was filmed and broadcasted as a public service announcement created by Y&R Miami Bravo advertising agency on behalf of We Save Lives, a highway safety nonprofit organization led by Candace Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

"I made the choice to drink. I made the choice to get in the car," Caudilla told the bar goers after explaining to them that he is serving a 15-year sentence for DUI manslaughter. "You don’t have to make that choice."

The public service announcement has been viewed on social media sites more than 35 million times since it was published on April 8th. According a spokeswoman for We Save Lives, the public service announcement has been viewed over 75 million times across 75 different countries.

Footage from the public service announcement can be found on the We Save Lives website here:

https://wesavelives.org/we-save-lives-launches-reflections-inside/

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Study Ranks States in Terms of DUI


CarInsuranceComparison.com, a site that compares insurance companies, recently released a study that ranked the worst states for driving under the influence incidences.

The study was based on statistics gathered from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Kids Count Data Center and DrivingLaws.org.  The study then compared the statistics of each state based on several factors; the state’s drunk driving related deaths in 2015, the state’s DUI arrests in 2015, the state’s laws and penalties for a DUI, and the cost per fatality.

According to the study, Vermont came in the tenth position as the best of the worst, for a lack of better phrases. Positions nine through two went to the following states in descending order: Rhode Island, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Idaho, and Montana.

The number one position as the worst state in terms of DUI is, drum roll, North Dakota.

According to the study, North Dakota ranked first in fatalities and DUI arrests in 2015.

 “I think that the combination of higher than average alcohol consumption and a higher chance of running into dangerous driving conditions with sleet, snow, and ice during the winter months could be the reason that we’re seeing so many of those norther states rank poorly,” Tyler Spraul, who directed the study, told USA TODAY.

Another study in 2009 ranked the Dakotas, Idaho, and Wisconsin as states with the highest alcohol consumption rate.

Where does California rank you might ask. California came in 35th overall in the study.

The methodology and full results of the study can be found here:

http://www.carinsurancecomparison.com/most-dangerous-states-for-drunk-driving/

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