Interviewer: So what are some of the common mistakes that people should be aware of that they do that makes the situation worse or can make it worse?
Eric: People talk too much. I find that the people talk to the police officer, they pull them over, the police officer says, “Do you know why I pulled over?” And people will say, “Well, I know I was drinking. I was just coming from the bar. I just want to go home.” The common mistakes would be, of course, don’t be your own worst enemy. Cooperate with the police officer, be friendly with the police officer, give him your name, and give them your address, but remember, even if he doesn’t tell you, you have a right to remain silent. You always have the right to remain silent, you always have the right to talk to anybody you want to talk to and you don’t have to talk to anybody you don’t want to talk to. So we tell everybody, the less you say, the better off you are.
Interviewer: Besides talking too much, any other common mistakes that people can commit that’ll make stuff worse for them?
Eric: Besides talking, they volunteer too much. They volunteer to do tests for the police. If the police are asking you to do something, listen to the police officer’s instructions. If you don’t understand, then you don’t understand. Of course people don’t realize that they don’t have to take tests. So I always advise people, if at all possible, speak to, or try to speak to an attorney before you even take any tests at the roadside, or at the precinct. Of course, in New York State, if you do not take tests, do not take a breath test. You don’t have to take those, you don’t have to take those field tests at the scene.
The Department of Motor Vehicles says if you have a license, you have to take a breath test. Well, you don’t have to take the breath test. If you don’t take the breath test you could lose your license for up to a year, but at least you understand that you don’t have to do any of these things. But you should try to call a lawyer before you submit to any testing whatsoever.
By Eric Sachs