HOW IS A DUI DEFINED IN THE STATE OF KANSAS?
There are several elements to a DUI. What the state or the city has to prove, depending on what charges are filed is that a person who is intoxicated has to prove that they either attempted to operate a vehicle while they were intoxicated to a level that they were unsafe to operate that vehicle.
Do Most DUI Defendants Have High BAC Levels?
It varies, but the legal limit is not a threshold in which most people feel like they are intoxicated. What most people think is someone that is drunk, it is very easy to be 0.08% and not realize it. A lot of times, people that are 0.08% might not get pulled over because they are not operating a vehicle unsafely. So you tend to see DUIs that have higher BACs, as opposed to ones that are read around 0.08%, because a lot of people that are at 0.08% do not drive poorly, so they do not get pulled over. You are mostly going to see higher BACs; those are the people that show obvious signs of impairment and are going to be must likely pulled over.
Is There A Typical Demographic For A DUI Defendant In Kansas?
Everybody gets DUIs. I have had folks as young as seventeen and eighteen years of age, and I have had people in their late sixties. It is a pretty common charge, really no specific demographic. A lot of people would think that it would be more of the younger crowd, because more young people are out drinking and going to parties, but it really just kind of runs the gamut. There is no typical DUI client.
How Public Is The Knowledge Of A DUI Arrest Or Conviction?
Many times, no one is going to find out about it. The police officer that charged you, your lawyer, you, the cops and then the judge or the prosecutor, those are pretty much the only ones that know about the charge. Obviously if you hurt someone, it can be on the news. It also depends on the person. If you are an athlete or you are a high profile person in the community and you get a DUI that is going to get out. Kansas, especially in Johnson County, they are a pretty open state and anyone that gets a DUI, if someone gets onto Johnson County’s court start order, they can find out and see the person that was charged with a DUI. Some of the municipal courts have online systems and they can search on those too and find out that someone has a DUI. But generally, unless the damage can be contained or minimized as far as who is going to find out about it especially if you get a lawyer and you keep it from going on your record permanently.
Common Mistakes Detrimental To A DUI Case
The number one mistake people make is admitting they consumed alcohol when they got pulled over by the police. Then one of the first questions an officer is going to ask you after he has made some sort of analysis and he thinks you are intoxicated, he is going to ask you how much you had to drink. Almost invariably, people will always say they have had some. You never want to admit to alcohol consumption because that helps establish reasonable suspicion to pull you out of the car and have you do the roadside tests. Another thing that people will commonly do is they will do field sobriety tests. In Kansas, there is no requirement that you do field sobriety tests.
Those tests are very subjective and very rarely will people pass these test. The tests are so subjective that the officers do not even know exactly how to score the tests and they will make mistakes and give people clues on tests that they should not have received. First of all, it would be admission to the alcohol consumption; the second would be helping them build a case by giving into the field sobriety tests. Another thing people do that they should not do, is the divided attention tests or the in-car test, the ABCs, 123s. If you are pulled over on the side of the road, it is a high stress situation, you are not used to it, maybe you have had something to drink, and it is pretty common to make mistakes on the ABCs, 123s, which is the Finger Dexterity test.
Other things people will do is submit to an alcohol test. In Kansas, until recently, it was against the law to refuse an alcohol test or a breathalyzer test, but that has since been overturned by the Supreme Court. If you provide that alcohol test, you do not know the veracity of that test, you do not know any inaccuracies that the test may have, or has it been calibrated correctly, you do not know if the officers are trained on these tests. Did, they use the correct approved gas to run through the test beforehand to make sure that it is in proper working order. Do they know the condition of the Intoxilyzer 9000; you do not know all of these things.
When you provide the alcohol test, you are putting yourself out there; you are helping establish the case against you. Once the Intoxilyzer is out there in some cities, which now prints out a strip that says that you are over the legal limit this is the new scientific evidence which now shows that you are now intoxicated. So those are the first things that a lot of people do that hurt their DUI cases.