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AM Station 790 – Peter Tilden

MALE VOICE 1: Where the South Bay comes to talk. Talk radio 790 KABC.

PETER TILDEN: 8:38, the Peter Tilden morning show. Yeah, we got big news coming up, – – ABC and one of the breaking news stories Heather Mills categorically states that she never ever played her voice-mail to ex-mirror editor Pierce Morgan in the phone hacking scandal in Britain. Pierce Morgan claimed that he heard her tape, that he may have gotten it from her. So this thing is a-brewing, but you know what—get rid of that music there for a second.
Myles L. Berman is with us. Now you know him as Top Gun DUI defense attorney, but I know him as a very smart man. You look great too, you’ve lost weight, you look wonderful. I’ve known you for a long, long time and this is the time of the year where you’ve always come in—it’s not like it’s the holidays, Hanukah and Christmas kickoff without Myles L. Berman. It’s a very serious subject because right now they are changing the DUI laws. Nobody’s saying anybody should get drunk and drive, it’s a horrible thing. You always inform people of A, their rights and what’s going on as far as the laws cause you’ve been doing this for a long time out here.

MYLES L. BERMAN: Well, thank you. It’s very kind of you to say that. It’s always great to be here. Of course, nobody wants drunk drivers on the road. We don’t want drunk drivers on the road, we use the roads.

MR. TILDEN: Right.

MR. BERMAN: We want it safe out there. But as to what happens and what’s going on in the law and what happens after you get arrested, well that’s a different story. You know, the penalties are so severe nowadays and they just keep getting worse.

MR. TILDEN: What are the penalties?

MR. BERMAN: Well, on a first offense, you could end up—in L.A. county—with just running a stop sign or something like that, no accident because you’d be going to jail—probation, about an $1800.00 fine, increase or cancellation of automation insurance anywhere 10, 15 thousand dollars. There’s a new law—it’s a pilot project that went into effect awhile now—if you’re convicted of first offense DUI, in L.A. County, you have to install an ignition interlock device in any car that you own or have access to for five months. That could be very—talk about scarlet letters. One of the problems with that is, let’s say like the wife is convicted of DUI…

MR. TILDEN: Right.

MR. BERMAN: We want to be fair to everybody. So if the wife is convicted of DUI and the husband drives the car, or vice-versa, the husband drives the car, or the spouse, significant other drives the car, they’re going to be driving a car with an ignition interlock device in there. Which they can’t actually operate because it’s not assigned to them. You know it’s very—it can be very devastating. You lose your job, many people lose their job. With the DMV they can suspend for four months.

MR. TILDEN: Right.

MR. BERMAN: It’s very tough out there. The best thing to do is of course avoid drinking and driving.

MR. TILDEN: No kidding, but if you get stopped, what are your rights? People don’t know. They don’t know the sequence of events and they don’t know what their rights are. They don’t know what to say, what not to say.

MR. BERMAN: Well, we can talk about the context first of check points because there has been a huge amounts of check points. Check points are funded by federal government oftentimes and they have grants to the states and the states have grants to localities and oftentimes individual police agencies or multi-task force agencies. Starting last week there was a huge amount of check points. As a matter of fact, we post them. We try to keep up as best we can at, we have a Southern California DUI check point page.


MR. BERMAN: When somebody drives through a check point and this is now generally the case, whether it’s the check point or not, you don’t really have to tell the officer where you’re coming from or where you’re going to. You need to identify yourself and provide proof of registration and driver’s license. But more often than not, a lot of the pre-questioning is somewhat to get the person to, have the officer get them out of the car, do field sobriety test, and get them to blow into little portable breath test machine.


MR. BERMAN: Now, that if you’re 21 or older, if you’re older than 21 you do not have to blow into that portable breath test machine. We think that breath testing is not accurate and often times it’s very inaccurate. Just to give you an example, let’s say somebody’s driving and they have a .14, .16, now that sounds pretty bad, that’s almost twice the legal limit on the first blow…

MR. TILDEN: Right.

MR. BERMAN: Alright. Scientifically a person doesn’t go from a .14 to a .16 in two minutes. It just doesn’t happen, or the other way around.

MR. TILDEN: So you’re saying the plus and minus in the machine is…

MR. BERMAN: Well, just those two results themselves are indicated that it’s not accurate for the alcohol level is in the blood. But there’s a whole host of other reasons as well.

MR. TILDEN: So what should somebody do? Before you go, why don’t you tell what the definitive answer to what they should do if they’re pulled over or stopped.

MR. BERMAN: Well, you know, you are one of the best interviews—we’ve talked about this off the air…

MR. TILDEN: He called me—I gotta say this—he called me when I started the morning show and I did an interview with a lawyer who was defending a terrorist. We got a couple calls after the show saying why don’t you take the guy – – you called me that day and said “Peter, you played it just as an attorney, a prosecutor, now a defense attorney, you played that right. You led him, you just led him into kind of hanging himself.” And I always remember that.
It was one of the first days I was on the air and it was very meaningful and it came from an attorney’s perspective which meant a lot to me. I appreciate that, so being a creative here, and being—thinking about what are your rights because you shouldn’t—yes no one should drink and drive because my family’s on the road. But let’s say you get stopped, you have rights. What should you do, what shouldn’t you do?

MR. BERMAN: As we’re talking, you don’t have to—even the field sobriety tests are completely voluntary. You don’t have to cooperate with the officer to the extent that you tell them everything that he’s using to write down and try and put in his report to try to convict you later on down the line. I mean it’s a balance between safety and you’re rights and people can stand on their rights. If they aren’t giving the officer all the information that the officer needs, how much you had to drink, where you were drinking, things like that, because those things are admissions.

MR. TILDEN: Right.

MR. BERMAN: Then if the field sobriety tests are done, those are also—can be incriminating both of what you say, how you speak and how you perform. So field sobriety tests are completely voluntary and that portable breath test, those who recommend it, don’t take it. The one that they give you before you’re arrested that’s portable, it’s voluntary. They’re supposed to tell you it’s completely voluntary and they don’t always tell you it’s voluntary, they should. If they tell you it’s voluntary you don’t have to take it, then why take it.
The big question is what happens after you’re arrested? You have a couple of choices. First after you’re arrested you have to take a blood or a breath. If you don’t take either and if you refuse then either the officer will write you up as a refusal or sometimes they actually physically strap you down and stick a needle in your arm and draw blood.
Now a lot of people are offended at that and when they find out that happens to them, most of the people who come to us tell us “You know, I never thought I needed you.” I mean we represent all kinds of people. Even police officers come to us.

MR. TILDEN: Right.

MR. BERMAN: Because, like I said, if you’re convicted of DUI the punishments are so substantial and not everybody’s treated equally. There are some people that do have a lot more to lose because let’s say you’re 50 years old. You got a great job and for some reason you get picked up for DUI and get convicted. Well, now—and if you lose your job, you lose your mortgage, you’re out on the street, you can’t pay your bills—how are you going to get rehired somewhere else? Not that 50 is so old because both of us…

MR. TILDEN: Watch yourself there.

MR. BERMAN: Older than 50, both of are. But you hear, especially in this economy, you hear how it’s very difficult for people to get jobs who are just out of college let alone somebody whose a little more experience, or a lot more experience.

MR. TILDEN: Right.

MR. BERMAN: So if you refuse, they have less evidence against you. If you don’t tell them where you’re coming from, where you’re going, you don’t do the field sobriety tests and you don’t do a blood or a breath and they don’t stick a needle in your arm, then the evidence in court is less obviously. On the other hand the penalties if you’re convicted of DUI can be greater and with the DMV you can lose your license for a year, just for a first offense.

MR. TILDEN: Check out Myles’ site before the holidays just in case you have it, need it, god forbid. What’s the site, how do we get to your website?

MR. BERMAN: 888-4topgun. Oops I’m sorry.

MR. TILDEN: The site. I know 888-4TOPGUN for how many years? I mean forever. 888-4TOPGUN is the number.

MR. BERMAN: That was a pretty good mistake [crosstalk]. TOPGUNDUI.COM.

MR. TILDEN: And you are a handsome and attractive man. You look great.

MR. BERMAN: Well thank you Peter.

MR. TILDEN: I hope we keep doing this year after year. It’s like the Hanukah bush, except—the Hanukah lights except the mayor took seven hours to light them now there’s nine days of Hanukah. Talk radio 790 KABC coming up we’ll do topics ABC, some breaking new and Myles I’ll see you soon. I’ll see you – –

MR. BERMAN: Thanks peter and I want to wish everybody a safe and happy holiday season.

MR. TILDEN: And don’t drink and drive. That’s the best solution too.

MALE VOICE 1: This KABC traffic report coming…

Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney Myles L. Berman

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