I read in the paper today about a twenty-one-year-old man who was picked up for driving under the influence of alcohol two times within one day. Actually, it was twice within a three-hour period. Cody James Winslow was first arrested at 2:48 am on May 15 after driving his vehicle into a ditch. He failed the field sobriety tests, was taken to the police station and interrogated, and then released into the custody of one of his relatives.
Less than three hours later, he was pulled over again for driving erratically, having been witnessed by an officer failing to negotiate a curve and driving into the other lane, and later, driving on and off the road. This time, the young man resisted arrest and refused a blood test.
As crazy as this sounds, I have had clients who have done this; who have been arrested more than once in a single night for driving under the influence. In a normal DUI situation, I’d be looking at the details of the case to see if it’s possible that the cops made a mistake, either in arresting the client or in the procedures used to determine his level of impairment. The fact that this young man got back out on the road and was arrested again makes it almost impossible to prove the officers were mistaken the first time, especially given that the second officer witnessed Mr. Winslow drive into the other lane on a curve.
Some of you may have read the bit about Winslow refusing a blood test and wondered how that would help or hurt. What will happen is that the state will automatically suspend his license, though there is a process by which he can get it reinstated until his trial date, IF he jumps on it as soon as he gets the letter from PennDOT. The newspaper did not say he was kept in jail. In fact, it says he was charged via a summons sent in the mail, which tells me he was released at some point. So, he will likely receive the PennDOT letter informing him of his license suspension as soon as it arrives at his house.
He was within his rights to refuse the blood test, of course. However, when he signed on the dotted line to get his driver’s license, he gave something called “implied consent,” which means he agreed to test for blood alcohol content in whatever form the officer asked it of him. He also agreed that his license could be suspended for refusing. This is how the state gets away with suspending it.
It seems from my point of view as if Mr. Winslow did everything he could to get into more trouble that night, and to make his attorney work harder. The article says the officer had to use “substantial force” to handcuff the young man. In my mind, substantial force means the guy fought hard. While the newspaper doesn’t say the officer used a taser, I wouldn’t be at all surprised. All this trouble resulted in his resisting arrest charges, and those can add hefty fines and additional jail time to what is already going to be a serious set of consequences. I tell people all the time not to resist. Go along with the cops and allow them to handcuff and arrest you. I’m here to sort the details out later. The officers are not going to listen to you proclaiming your innocence. They don’t have to; it’s not their job. Do what they tell you and then call me.
I’m not saying that Mr. Winslow can’t get his charges reduced, at least. If he hires an attorney who is well-versed in DUI law and arrests, and who has experience in fighting such charges, he might. Whoever the young man hires is going to have his work cut out for him, though.