I Wasn’t Driving Drunk in DC; I was Using My Cell Phone:
As Washington, DC DUI defense attorney, I often have clients tell me they were texting or using their cell phone when they got pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. In our modern society, we find ourselves permanently attached to our electronic devices, so it’s easy to get distracted while driving. Maybe you missed a red light, ran a stop sign, drifted in your lane and then swerved back.
Let’s go one step further. You are driving home from a bar or restaurant you stopped at after work. You had one beer or glass of wine but are not intoxicated. You text your boyfriend or look at Facebook on your phone. You drift towards the curb and serve back just in time to avoid hitting a car. You are okay but then you hear a siren and see the lights flashing in your rearview mirror. A DC police officer pulls you over, smells alcohol on your breath and orders you out of the car. He makes you do some field sobriety tests, or roadside gymnastics as I like to call them. Before you know it, you’re in the back of a police car arrested on a DC DUI charge. What do you do when you get released from the District station later that night or the next morning?
The first thing you need to do is get a good DC DUI lawyer. Texting while driving may be illegal and may get you a ticket but it’s a lot better than a DUI. You need to fight the charges. There may be a lot your attorney can do to help. He can not only help you with the case but can help you respond to the Official Notice of Proposed Revocation you probably got when you were arrested as I have discussed this in great detail in a previous post on this blog. Your attorney can also help you gather evidence and send his investigator to the scene of the arrest and document anything that may help you at trial. Sometimes there is a slope where you were asked to take the field sobriety test, or a distraction of another kind that is present at the scene. Perhaps there were witnesses of the arrest that your lawyer could subpoena to court to testify on your behalf. The point is that there is often a lot that can be done to fight the charges, but you should act quickly to preserve your rights and always remember that an arrest is not a conviction.