In some countries (England, Wales, Scotland – to name three), it’s against the law to refuse to take roadside sobriety tests. Against the law! It’s a crime to refuse to give the government the evidence they’ll later use against you! ( I would apologize for the exclamation marks except I need to express my horror in some way). Fortunately, in the US – or in North Carolina at least – this is not the case. You can’t be punished for declining to participate in the government’s investigation of a crime it thinks you’ve committed.
Yet, day after day we do participate. We give the government the very evidence they’ll use against us. We act as witnesses against ourselves. It’s madness. Yet we ovinely go along with it. Stop!
The sate of the law in NC on the issue of probable cause to arrest for the offense of DWI is absolutely horrible. And invariably, the difference between probable cause and no probable cause boils down to what the Defendant agrees to do. So stop agreeing to do stuff. Look at this terrible language: “the odor of alcohol on a defendant’s breath, coupled with a positive alco-sensor result, is sufficient for probable cause to arrest a defendant for driving while impaired.” Wow! That’s in State v. Rogers, a 1996 Court of Appeals case. You might not be able to avoid the odor of alcohol but you can certainly avoid the “positive alco-sensor result.” By not taking it. By saying “No.” By exercising your right not to incriminate yourself.
People who work for the government are our servants. Stop letting your servants boss you around.
In State v Townsend, a 2014 Court of appeals case, the defendant drove without incident into a checkpoint (he should have turned around – more on that in a future blog); he admitted to drinking (don’t do that); he performed the HGN eye test (don’t do that); he performed the walk and turn test (don’t do that); he performed the one leg stand test (don’t do that); he recited a portion of the alphabet (don’t do that); he blew into the “alco-sensor” (don’t do that). Don’t do anything they’re asking you to do on the side of the road. And if someone tells you that refusing to do that stuff – any of it – will result in your license being suspended, he’s lying. And if someone says, you’ll be arrested if you refuse, turn around and put your hands behind your back.
The only refusal that results in your license being suspended is the refusal to blow into the big breath testing machine at the police station. So refuse away out there on the side of the road. Don’t give them their probable cause. They don’t need bad driving; they don’t need slurred speech; they don’t need red and glassy eyes; they don’t need the HGN; they don’t need the walk and turn, one leg stand, finger dexterity, alphabet test, finger to nose, sway test, or any of those other abnormal acts of stupidity. All they need is odor of alcohol and a positive result on the alco-sensor. So don’t give them anything. It’s us versus them; it’s a contest. You wouldn’t shoot a basketball into your own goal; you wouldn’t kick the soccer ball into the back of your own net. You wouldn’t wreck your own country’s economy. You wouldn’t shut down your own government. You wouldn’t steal from the poor to give to the rich. You wouldn’t deny proper heath care to millions of your fellow citizens. You wouldn’t invite a foreign dictator to address Congress in flagrant disregard for the President’s Constitutional mandate to guide foreign policy…. Ok, you would do those last few things if you’re a Republican.
Stop being a Republican! Stop playing for the other team!