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Braylon Edwards DWI Charge

by | Mar 8, 2011

In addition to being a Washington, DC DWI defense lawyer, I also consider myself an avid Redskins fan. In combining the two, I thought it would be interesting to write about a player for a conference rival charged with a DWI. In case you haven’t been following the news stories, Braylon Edwards of the Jets has had a series of legal troubles. It was reported that he was pulled over in 2008 for traveling 120mph on a road with a speed limit of 65mph. If this occurred in DC, it could be charged as criminal speeding. In 2009, Edwards pleaded no contest to an aggravated assault charge. His latest troubles result around a 2010 drunken driving charge.

Edwards was pulled over for having excessively tinted windows. Police reports indicated that a strong odor of alcohol was present on his breath and his eyes were bloodshot and watery. He is reported to have blown a 0.16 on a breathalyzer. This is twice the legal limit of 0.08 for a DWI charge.

According an ESPN story, Edwards asked the cops why he was being arrested for DWI when his driving didn’t lead to the vehicle stop. He also told officers “I had a couple of drinks,” and had finished his last drink “about an hour ago” when responding to questions. These questions that police ask a suspected drunk driver are not random. They use these questions to establish the elements required for a DWI conviction. If you admit to having drank alcohol before driving, and state that you haven’t had any alcohol since driving (about an hour ago), then it can be inferred that you were under the influence of alcohol while driving. Their questions may take a different from but this is what they are really asking:

1. Did you drive a vehicle?
2. Have you had anything to drink before driving?
3. Have you had anything to drink since I pulled you over?

If your answer is yes to all three questions, they have probable cause to arrest you. If you chose not to answer their questions, they may still have probable cause to arrest for a Washington, DC DWI or DUI, but their job is harder and their case may be weaker. In case you were wondering about the “I only had a couple of drinks” answer that is popular on the TV show cops, that is generally translated into “automatic arrest” at the police academy.