Myles L. Berman® Interviewed On Friday, May 27, 2016, On KRLA 870am The Answer
Host: Thanks for joining us on the Morning Answer here on a Friday with Brian Band and Alicia. Alicia, it is your Morning Answer in advance of Memorial Day Weekend, Military Appreciation Day all happening tomorrow in san Pedro at the beautiful Battleship Isle. We’ll talk about that in a moment. A big deal this week certainly, in the local news coverage are all the Memorial Day DUI checkpoints that are planned. The Police Department and Sheriff’s deputies out in full force targeting drunken and drugged driver’s during this weekend’s Memorial Day festivities. The checkpoints scattered across the Southland during the 3 day holiday weekend.
Interesting to note, LA County Sheriff’s department plans to have checkpoints in West Hollywood and Paramount along with what they described as an amplified presence in Lancaster while the CHP is deploying all available officers, that’s their statement towards patrolling freeways and roads countywide. Myles Berman is here on the Morning Answer, the Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney. Always great to see you Myles.
Myles Berman: Great to see you too and all the team here. You guys do a great show, all 3 of you.
Host: Thank you. Ben’s got that Harvard sweatshirt on because you are an attorney. He doesn’t put that sweatshirt on for everybody.
Myles Berman: I’m flattered.
Host: You were suited today and that’s really spiffy.
Myles: Well I didn’t go to Harvard.
Host: Where did you go to Law School?
Myles: I went to Law School in Chicago. Chicago Kent College of Law.
Host: Nice. Myles always has a suit on. Myles always looks like Myles has got to be ready for clients. You’ve got to be ready to go Ben. You know what that’s like. To be fair, he has to look like that so you can look like you do because one is the client, one is the attorney, you figure out who is who.
Myles: actually, so do you Ben and Alicia you too. It can be anybody. DUI affects anybody and everybody and it’s not just alcohol. It’s drugs too.
Host: So let me ask you a question. I know this is going to be first and foremost on a lot of listener’s minds. How many innocent people get caught up in DUI cases because normally when people hear about DUI attorneys, the first thing they are going to think is okay they are getting people or drunk drivers off. That’s a bad thing. How many people who are innocent, who really aren’t drunk are getting caught up in these sorts of sweeps?
Myles: Actually everybody who is arrested is innocent.
Host: Okay. Score one for Myles.
Myles: You and I swore to uphold the same constitution
Host: How many people who are factually not drunk are caught up in these sorts of sweeps?
Myles: You have to understand that breath testing, I don’t believe is accurate. So I don’t have confidence in breath test results. So, from my point of view, everybody who is arrested is innocent until a judge or a jury says otherwise. So it’s hard to answer your question because I don’t know everybody’s situation.
Host: Let’s start with the first question then, why do you think that breath tests don’t work. Why do most people obviously do think they work?
Myles: I’ll give you a practical answer. It’s not unusual for somebody to get a breath test result which is 0.02 apart. So like it’s a 0.008 and a 0.10. That will fit the government’s requirement but a person doesn’t go from a 0.08 to a 0.10 in a matter of minutes. That’s number one, number two, breath test machines are calibrated to assume everybody is the same. There is no ratio between your alcohol and your breath and your blood and none of us fit the statutory ratio that California has passed. So breath testing assumes we are all the same.
Host: Even Myles, in terms of size and everything like that?
Myles: Weight, the relationship between the alcohol and breath and alcohol and blood that is absorbing, we all absorb. It gives a lot o science that you have to know but height and weight really is a significant variation. It’s just that each of us are unique and we have a different ratio
Host: So doing what you do, Myles Berman is here and we are talking about these DUI checkpoints over the weekend. Myles is the Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney. I saw the 3oth anniversary of the Top Gun movie. You predate that, I know but it’s interesting as time goes by. So then, as a defense attorney who defends people accused of drunk driving or drugged driving whatever it is. Is that the first thing you go after? Is it the science of it? You try to go in and throw out any Breathalyzer results or is that the idea?
Myles: The first witness that the state always puts up is a police officer. So our first approach is to obviously cross examine the police officer. We know that police officers are trained to only write down bad things. But oftentimes, and most of the times there are good things that somebody does in the course of the investigation like the field sobriety tests or their driving isn’t bad. For example, just because you run a stop sign doesn’t mean you are under the influence of alcohol. That’s just a common occurrence for people who are sober. But the field sobriety tests, the way they are performed, they are very difficult. They are very stressful for people who do that especially people who haven’t done them before. Most people who are arrested for DUI are first time offenders. Most of our clients are first time offenders. So the attack is on the police through cross examination and of course, with the breath test for alcohol, then there are sciences involved that actually rebuts the state’s opinion that the person was at a certain level at the time of driving.
Host: so what do you think about the, I think it was the shark tank idea and I’m obsessed with the show, of a Breathalyzer test that people could carry in their purse or their back pockets so when they go out to a bachelor party or something, they are like maybe I shouldn’t drive home, they do a little test. Do you advise people to do something like that? Or just to take Uber?
Myles: Those portable breath test machines that people can buy for $100 or something like that, I really don’t know how accurate they are. I can tell you that the machines which the state uses or that the police use aren’t accurate either. They really don’t measure the level of alcohol in a person’s blood. So I can’t say that somebody should use or test themselves and if that’s accurate, then go ahead and drive.
Host: We’ll take some phone calls for Myles Berman, the Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney. 855-785-8255. That’s the number if you have a question for Myles. I know the police officers love to talk to Myles. 855-785-8255. We were having an interesting conversation Myles, a few moments ago. Ben and Alicia and I were talking about the constitutionality of these DUI checkpoints and we spoke moments ago about how West Hollywood, paramount, this weekend on Memorial Day. An amplified presence in Lancaster has been identified as a place where there needs to be more checkpoints. So we’ll get Ben in here after we talk to you for a second. Just on the constitutionality of a cop pulling you over and investigating what’s happening in your car or what’s happening with you just because you are on Ventura Blvd on Memorial Day weekend for example. Is that constitutional?
Myles: The answer is yes. The Supreme Court has held, both in California and the United States Supreme Court has held that checkpoints are in fact, constitutional. I know, a lot of the listening audience doesn’t really agree with the laws that have been passed and decisions that have been upheld but it’s a conflict because people want safe roads but at the same time people don’t want to be pulled over without probable cause which is what the constitution calls for.
Host: Interesting. Ben, in Harvard I’m sure you guys talked about the constitutionality of these, to me, I don’t know if it’s liberal bias but to me it’s just crazy when a cop pulls you over for really no reason other than just that you are in the intersection. Basically the Supreme Court has ruled that these sobriety checkpoints are okay. The reason they do this I think a little bit on weak footing. Basically the idea is they balance the notion that you have a privilege but not a right to drive, with the good that it does to have sobriety checkpoints, again, I don’t understand how any of that overcomes the fourth amendment requirement that there actually be reasonable search and seizure, that you have reasonable suspicion that something is going on in order to violate your right to be free of search and seizure and the Supreme Court does these sort of practical decisions all the time but that doesn’t mean that they are constitutionally correct. I have a tendency to believe what Myles believes. I tend to think that TSA is the same way, by the way. I think that the checkpoints and the TSA, solid arguments that these things are not constitutional under the fourth amendment. Our number is 855-785-8255, here on a Friday morning getting to the Memorial Day weekend. Myles Berman is with us, the Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney. Ron, in Canoga Park. Welcome to the Morning Answer. Hi Ron.
Ron: Good morning group. How are you? May you all have a very happy Memorial Day weekend.
Host: Happy Memorial Day to you Ron.
Ron: Thank you. Myles, have you ever attended an AA meeting?
Myles: No, sir. Great question though. You could have got me.
Host: so Why would it matter Ron, if Myles has been to an AA meeting?
Ron: I know in college, one of our professors required us to attend an AA meeting and when I did, you get some insight into people who have had multiple convictions. I was just wondering if he ever did any field research in the area of addiction or alcoholism.
Myles: Going to AA wouldn’t be the only thing that can be done. We are constantly inundated with this particular issue and treatment for alcoholism but that’s a different issue with what we do in representing people for DUI and I’d also like to point out, we should also talk a little bit about drugs because there is a big push especially for marijuana. You’ve read it but there is more to it than that. But as far as alcohol addiction, obviously we are familiar with it and we are familiar with recovery programs and alcohol programs but you don’t have to go to AA to become aware of that.
Host: Let’s talk before we include another caller. The drugged driver; so people are on prescriptions for all sorts of anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressant medications, sleep medications, people might get loopy for a couple of different reasons, plenty of which are legal.
Myles: that’s correct. As a matter of fact, a lot of the population is on prescription drugs and this has been going on for quite some time. But I also like to add marijuana because this is a big thing. The police are in a big push now to look for people who are not only just driving under the influence of alcohol, not just under the influence of prescription drugs, but also with marijuana, especially with the legalization that’ coming down all across the country and in California, the roads actually are filled with people who are smoking dope and they think that because they have a medical marijuana card, it somehow protects them, which it doesn’t.
Host: Myles Berman is here. What is it here? We’ll get to one more call. Just that people think they have like, Oh I’ve got a weed license so I can drive high. What the heck?
Myles: they feel like just because they have a prescription for it just like people have a prescription for a drug like Xanax or Percocet or whatever they are doing, that this is their natural system.
Host: Oh people! Let’s go to Matt here in Los Angeles, Myles Berman, the Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney is here. Hi Matt.
Matt: Good Morning.
Host: Hi Matt. Are you a cop?
Matt: Yeah, I am. I’m going back from court right now.
Host: alright, you are on with Myles. Thanks for the call. Go right ahead.
Matt: So I wanted to ask you how do you feel about the accuracy of blood tests or blood alcohol.
Myles: You know there are problems with blood testing. Breath testing is less accurate than blood but also, just because a person is a 0.08 or greater after the arrest doesn’t mean that they are a 0.08 or greater at the time of the arrest or that they were impaired. But without getting too far in the weeds, blood testing has certain requirements that it needs to meet, both with what’s in the vial and the procedure as well.
Matt: Okay. Because I’ve seen, I’ve made about plus or minus 300 DUI arrests in my career and I’ve seen actually a pretty strong correlation between what I’ve seen in the field sobriety tests versus what the breath test has shown me or what the blood has shown me. I mean all 3 can’t be wildly inaccurate if they are all coming more or less in the same range.
Host: Officer, thank you for that phone call. Myles, you want to respond real quick?
Myles: Yeah, it’s very rare when there is a breath and a blood test so I am not sure what he is talking about as far as the 300 arrests that he has made. It’s very rare when that happens.
Host: Interesting, okay. Myles Berman, the Top Gun DUI defense attorney. Where can people, they can go online obviously, all this checkpoint information is public record. Law enforcement puts out online where all these checkpoints are. It’s not a secret.
Myles: Yes, actually I do post it on Facebook and Twitter and the afternoons for Friday for checkpoints over the weekend. For the website go to topgundui.com and find that.
Host: It’s all on there. Topgundui.com. Myles Berman, it’s always great to see you, my friend. That’s 888-4-TOP GUN, Myles Berman on the Memorial Day weekend, we got on the Morning Answer Facebook page, a story about amped up law enforcement. Police, LAPD and Sheriff’s deputies out in what they call full force this weekend targeting drivers under the influence. We appreciate you joining us. Tell you all about Military Appreciation Day. Tomorrow is a great day in San Pedro at the Battleship Isle. We want you to come out for that. It’s 8:51.
Description: Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney® Myles L. Berman® interviewed on Friday, May 27, 2016, on KRLA 870am The Answer in Los Angeles and answers callers questions about DUI laws and enforcement for Memorial Day Holiday weekend.
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