Asked 6 months ago - Greensboro, NCFlag
I was pulled over late at night in Greensboro at a checkpoint. I had 2 friends with me who were drinking heavily, and I had a few drinks but was not drunk. The officer took me onto the BAT mobile (as he called it) and I blew a .08 on the Intox EC/IT-II. While this was happening, the officer gave one of my friends (who had been drinking much more than I had) a breath test outside and he blew a .05, so the officer let him drive us back. Is there any likelihood that I may be able to beat this DWI, or should I plead guilty?
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On these facts, this is actually a good case. Obviously no guarantees can be made, but it's unlikely that they saw any bad driving since it was a checkpoint. The .08 itself is sufficient to find you guilty, but a line of cases in the past two years has reiterated that a .08 does not require a guilty result. Of course, part of this is going to depend on your conduct - if you did well on the SFSTs, didn't make a ton of admissions, and you were polite/cooperative, walking ok, etc. you have a good issue on impairment.
You also may have a good issue on the checkpoint itself - checkpoints can't be for general crime enforcement. They need to have a specific programmatic purpose.
I'd suggest you contact Bill Powers, who posts here frequently. He's based out of Charlotte, but I believe he does cover your area. (I don't go to Greensboro, preferring to stay in my home county of Wake County). You can visit his website at www.powmac.com
This is certainly a case where you should talk to a lawyer - there are potentially good issues, and in the long haul, being found not guilty is worth the cost of the lawyer, if that happens.
You need the assistance of local, experienced DWI attorney who is comfortable in the courtroom and who will review the legal issues and offer advice on moving forward. Understand that every jurisdiction is different, but, as others have pointed out, the thing about checkpoint stops that is common from one state to another is that rarely do they involve observations by a police officer of bad driving which, on the open road, might get a motorist pulled over. Good luck.
In addition to your performance on police field exercises, breath testing is a questionable science. The use of breath testing machines in a truck on the side of the road is even more questionable. Make sure you hire a lawyer who can question the government at EVERY LEVEL to fight for your defense.
There is a real chance that (1) you are not guilty, and (2) you can win this case.
You need the assistance of a good dwi/owi/dui/drunk driving defense lawyer.
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