How To Win A Drunk Driving Case: A Primer For The Layperson
by Andrew Mishlove, Esq.
PRISONS AND CHECKPOINTS: WHAT PRICE SAFETY IN A FREE SOCIETY?
America is a land of extreme contradictions: rich and poor, the freest with the most prisoners, and the most committed to liberty with some of the most repressive attitudes.
We certainly live in a very dangerous society. Handguns are one of the leading causes of death among young men.
People are afraid, and politicians prey on that fear. Legislation has been proposed in my state to legalize police highway checkpoints, already legal in forty states (a U.S. Supreme Court decision on this is pending at the time of this writing). HIGHWAY CHECKPOINTS!! Politicians always look for easy answers; but, they are often unwilling to make hard decisions to protect us.
There is no question but that one of the great sources of danger in our society is the automobile. More Americans are killed each year in car accidents than Americans died in the War in Vietnam. Most fatal accidents involve alcohol. But despite the vast war on drunken drivers, highway safety has not been dramatically improved. Politicians will always take the easy steps of increasing penalties and restricting individual liberty, rather than taking the hard steps of limiting the proliferation and legal immunity of taverns, and funding rehabilitative programs. The society that glorifies alcohol finds it easiest to deal with the damage by imprisoning the drinker. If the present rate of increase continues, within this century the majority of the population of the USA will be in prison.
When the constitutional liberty of a single one of us is trampled in the name of public safety, we all suffer from a loss of freedom. I do not support drinking and driving. It is a reprehensible evil, just as is murder. But I object to the suspension of human rights that has occurred in the name of the unsuccessful war on driving while intoxicated.
In my state, which is festooned with saloons, a simple dram shop law (requiring tavern keepers to accept their responsibility for pushing alcohol on their drunken patrons) would do more than all the jail cells and highway checkpoints combined. But the legislature lacks the spine to stand up to the special interests.
This little handbook on drunk driving is, therefore, intended to be one man's statement in support of the right to be left alone, to be free of unreasonable searches, to a presumption of innocence, to a fair trial, a fair verdict and, yes, if you deserve it, a fair punishment.
If you've been arrested for drunk driving, especially if it's happened more than once, it probably means that you had an alcoholic beverage and then drove a car. That is a terrible error in judgment. Whether or not you believe that you need it, GET HELP!!
I'm insisting on this even if you are innocent of drunken driving. I don't care if you were stone cold sober, its stupid and dangerous to drink and drive. It shows a lack of knowledge and a lack of judgment. You could kill or maim yourself or do the same to someone's son, daughter, mother or father.
Stop and consider the consequences of a drunk driving arrest, which is inconvenient and expensive even if you win the case. Then, consider the price of a taxicab. It's a no-brainer. If God wanted you to drink and drive he wouldn't have invented the taxicab.
You also need to take an honest look in the mirror and ask yourself whether you have a drinking problem. Whether or not you have a drinking problem, you need to get help with your understanding of the problem of alcoholism. Go to AA meetings. You may or may not be an alcoholic, but everyone can benefit from the advice and insights available at a twelve-step group.
So, even if you don't believe that you need it, get help! Use this challenge as an opportunity to improve your life.