How many times have my clients found themselves asked this question? Mr. X or Ms. Y, how much have you had to drink tonight? This is never a good question to be asked. The only reason to ask this question is to incriminate you – to put you in a bad light. Lets think about it.
If an officer is asking you the question of how much have you had to drink they must have seen something that makes them believe you have had too much to drink. They have seen some sort of driving action, heard something in your voice or watched your reactions after the stop that makes them suspicious that you have had too much to drink.
Maybe there is nothing about your conduct, voice or demeanor that makes an officer suspicious. Maybe they are just fishing. While they have you pulled over for something they are going to ask, “say how much have you had to drink.” Be careful. These are dangerous times. Watchout!
Only a couple.
Whatever your response, you are in trouble. The chances are good that the officer will not ask you further questions. Lets look at your responses, without clarifying questions, and see how they could be twisted.
Only a couple
If the officer does not ask for more detail you could be in serious trouble. If the officer reports you were swerving all over the road, unsteady on your feet and could not give the license, registration, insurance information then the officer will think you are a. too drunk to remember how much you had or b. lying about how many you had.
What might the officer ask?
A couple of what? Couple of beers? What size beers?
Couple of glasses of wine? Couple of bottles of wine?
Couple shots? Of what? What proof?
All of these are critical questions. The answers to the questions will go far in determining how much alcohol is in your blood. Do you think the officer really wants to know? No. They want to know how fast you can be taken to the station, booked and noted on their records of how many DUI arrests they got this day, week or month.
What is the solution Jef?
Do not answer the question. Yup, you heard me. If you are pulled over give the officer your license, registration and insurance information. If the officer starts asking questions about how much have you had to drink ask, “am I free to leave.” The officer will probably say no or not yet. At that point say, “I would like an attorney present for any questioning.” If the officer thinks you are under the influence at least they know that you know your right to have an attorney present.
Assert your rights. Stick to your rights. Exercise your rights.
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