I. Breath Sniffers
If you are driving between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m., you are driving in what law enforcement deems to be the “high alcohol involvement” hours. That is their training and they are probably correct. People driving during those hours are most likely to be going to work or driving after drinking, although not necessarily impaired.
Law enforcement officers are far more likely to “pull you over” for minor infractions or vehicle defects (plate light out, tail light out, expired registration, failure to obey lane restrictions, etc.) during high alcohol involvement hours than any other time of day.
The “late out” or “late shift” law enforcement officers really want to smell your breath and/or to ask you if you have had anything to drink? They are looking for any lawful reason to pull you over to determine if you have been drinking.
You have the right to refuse to answer their questions.
You have the right to refuse to do field sobriety tests.
Bear in mind that those refusals to answer questions and/or to perform field sobriety tests, may be introduced at trial as “consciousness of guilt”.
Best advice: Don’t drink and drive. Expect to be pulled over during high alcohol involvement hours for the most minor motor vehicle infraction.
If you have been charged with OUI or any other criminal violation, call Nichols & Churchill at 207-879-4000 for a free consultation. We are located at 1250 Forest Avenue, Portland, Maine 04103. Check us out at www.nicholschurchill.com.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general, not specific, information about Maine law. The publication of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between the author(s) and the reader(s).