Myles L. Berman On KLOS FM 95.5 With Jack Silver
Host: Jack Silver, the Program Director of 95.5 KLOS, Southern California’s best rock and as a public service, as just a favor to our listeners and everyone checking us out at 95.5 KLOS.com, I’m here with TOP Gun DUI Defense Attorney Myles L Berman. A close friend, personal friend of ours but also Myles, it’s such an important time of the year with the 4th of July and a lot of our fans who listen to KLOS, they are going to be at barbecues and family parties and maybe having a beer or two over the 4th of July and I thought we could bring you in and we could share with the people checking us out online. What do you think people should expect on the 4th of July and the things they should be aware of if they are going to have a couple of drinks on the 4th of July?
Myles Berman: First of all Jack, thanks for having me and it’s a great pleasure to be here and I always like being able to communicate and help people out especially during 4th of July and other holidays throughout the year. This 4th of July there are going to be a tremendous amount of DUI checkpoints. So, as a matter of fact, on our website we will post, at topgundui.com, we will post…
Host: That’s good information to know about because these checkpoints are everywhere so you will have that information.
Myles Berman: Correct, and one of the requirements is that the police are supposed to publish the location of the checkpoints. So we actually help the police. Police agencies oftentimes send to us the location of their checkpoints. So it’s something where we are also providing a public service and helping the police satisfy one of their requirements but the checkpoints are going to be at all different places, all throughout Southern California and there is going to be a whole bunch.
Host: So if I am driving on the 4th of July and I see a checkpoint. You know I mean like I know about my house on Ventura Blvd. I just went to my buddy’s house watching a Lakers game or something and I’m driving home and the whole funnel is starting to funnel in. What the heck is going on? So what should a fan of our station do when they see a checkpoint ahead even if they’ve had like just one or two beers at a barbecue?
Myles: Well, first of all, checkpoints are supposed to have an escape route. In other words, if somebody doesn’t want to drive into the checkpoint, they should have the option of driving through the escape route. The problem is that many times police agencies know that people are going to try to avoid the checkpoints. So when they turn off or go off into a different direction or take an escape route, they end up having people stationed there, sometimes they are called scouts, to watch people to see if they commit any other type of traffic violation and then pull them over and begin to investigate them. Now that’s a different scenario than actually driving through the checkpoint.
Host: Okay, so say, I’m in that line. I feel good and maybe I had a beer at the barbecue. So when I’m in the line and the guy, I mean do I put my hands up and say take me Joe? What do I do?
Myles: First of all, you have to assume when you are coming through the police checkpoint as well as coming in contact with the police, not at a checkpoint that you always have to be on your best behavior because you have to assume that you are being videotaped or audiotaped and you are for sure being audiotaped because you don’t want these tapes to come back to haunt you in the event that later on, you want to fight your case. So first, always be respectful and always be on your best behavior. Now, the only thing that I can do Jack, is I can tell people what their rights are and what they decide to do at that point in time is up to them. So when you are driving through the checkpoint, basically all you have to do is to show your identification, your driver’s license, proof of insurance and your registration.
Beyond that people don’t but they almost always do, people don’t have to answer the officer’s questions, where they are coming from, where they are going to, how much they’ve had to drink and things of that nature. It’s a tough call and it takes a strong constitution for somebody to have; actually, it’s a nice pun, strong constitution. We have a constitutional right not to incriminate ourselves. So when they go through the checkpoints, they are going to be asked a whole series of questions and the officer is going to be looking for signs of impairment. One of the things the officers do is check the eyes. That’s called the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test but then they are just looking for a certain type of reaction with the eyes whether they go left or right.
Host: So basically just answer the questions, get through there, give that guy the information, your driver’s license etc. and obviously the assumption is that you are not over served. But generally, you are going to go through this checkpoint and you might have some information that you are going to have to give to the guy. Is that what you are saying?
Myles: That’s what will be expected but you don’t necessarily have to but here is the problem. When people; and you just said earlier you don’t think you are over served. Nobody knows what their alcohol level is. If I were to ask you Jack, if you had 3 or 4 beers, would you have any idea of what your alcohol level would be?
Host: No idea.
Myles: Nobody really knows. You know its how you feel but certainly nobody knows. But once you go through that process and should you be fortunately directed to a place where they are going to investigate you further then they are going to ask you to get out of your car and you should comply with the officer’s orders. There is no question about that. Get out of the car but then they are going to start to question you further and if you see the officer, he is writing down notes or actually filling out a report and there is a good chance that you may be going to jail at that point.
Host: Hold on for just a second because we are talking to Myles L Berman, the Top Gun DUI Defense attorney. I’m Jack Silver and I’m the program director for 95.5 KLOS
Myles: And a great guy, by the way.
Host: An excellent guy and you and I spoke many times together. Look everybody has a nice time and we are talking about the 4th of July and this is serious. We don’t want people to drink and drive obviously but there are times when you might be in a situation like this and I thought this would be good information for the listeners at KLOS.com, 955KLOS.com to know.
Myles: Let me just interject at this point. We don’t want and I don’t want drunk drivers on the road at this point as well. Everybody wants safe roads, I want safe roads, people who work for me, we all want safe roads. But the issue is because of the processes involved and we’ll talk about it as we go through this that it oftentimes is usually unfair, the nature in which DUI cases are prosecuted and so that’s where we get off the street and into the courtroom and that’s a whole different ball game.
Host: Right and that’s where the listeners need you and that’s what you’ve made a career about and sometimes people come to you in a situation like this and so if it does happen, do I take an on scene breath test, I’ve seen these guys. Do I have to blow into something? I don’t even know what the hell happens but it seems like that’s when trouble could happen.
Myles: Well, just before an on scene breath test occurs, there is a field sobriety test and the field sobriety tests are completely voluntary and people don’t have to do that and usually I feel that how the person performs on the field sobriety test usually has no correlation between whether or not somebody is usually impaired. These are just the tests that the police use because these are all the tools that they have. But within the field sobriety tests is another portable breath test usually and if you are older than 21 then you have a right to refuse that breath test and the officers are supposed to tell you that.
Breath testing as far as I am concerned is extremely unreliable. To determine the alcohol level in your blood, it’s almost impossible to use a breath test to make that determination but just to give you an example, many times people, hey get arrested for a DUI, they have a 0.12 and a 0.14 breath test or a 0.14 and a 0.12 breath test within two minutes of each other but yet, you go wow. That’s pretty high but you know, it’s 50%.
Host: It’s high but it’s also the fact that it’s not always the same from minute to minute to minute, your breath alcohol level would change
Myles: not necessarily, but that’s the way the machine measures it. Most importantly, your blood alcohol level doesn’t fluctuate like that in a two minute span, either up or down. So as you can see, breath testing is unreliable to predict the alcohol level of the person’s blood. So you have a right to refuse that portable breath test before you are arrested and if you are older than 21.
Host: Don’t the police officers assume if you say no to the breath test that you’ve been drinking?
Myles: There is a double edged sword. You know there is a good chance that if you are a 0.08 or greater or even a 0.07. I’ve seen them prosecute as low as a 0.03 or 0.04. I’ve seen people arrested even for that low of an alcohol level and these tests aren’t reliable. So what the reaction of the officer is, there is a good chance for going to jail anyway. So why would you give them more information than you need to or that you already have up to that point in time?
Host: Let’s do this because obviously if people want to get a hold of you, it’s 888-4-TopGun. That’s your phone number at your office. Your website is TopGunDUI.com and my suggestion is for people to know about this stuff. If you stay in your closet and you cover your head, you realize that these things aren’t happening, the more likely you are to be involved in something you don’t want to be but then they should contact you. Like I see some guys, big heavy set guys. Looks like they can drink more than me and then you see some of the smaller people and they are pounding down the drinks, so how do you know when you have had too much to drink and shouldn’t you just call a cab or have your friend drive?
Myles: The best thing to do when you have been drinking is not to drive. I mean if you can get somebody else or if you can take a cab or somehow figure out a way that you don’t have to drive then that’s your best way of not getting stopped and being arrested for DUI because going through this could be absolutely devastating. It could be a life changer in a negative way.
Host: You say that in your commercial. You can have a loss of license, correct? I have had a buddy couple who have lost their license for 6 months. Guy was driving a nice car. Now he’s on the Wilshire bus going up and back. It’s very demoralizing. Could you lose your job?
Myles: Sure. As a matter of fact, there are many companies that require people, especially if you are driving, if you drive for a living or if you are a sales person and the insurance companies work, every 6 months they do a check and they may require you to be conviction free. Certainly not a DUI. Professionals, we represent a lot of doctors, lawyers, experts and we represent police officers too. Anybody who is licensed by the state, if you are convicted of a DUI, the course in the prosecutor’s or the clerk’s office. They are required to notify the state licensing agencies if you are convicted of a DUI. So these things can have a severe consequence on somebody’s job, not to mention if they are borderline to begin with or they are on probation when they are first starting work. So yes, a DUI can cause somebody to become unemployed. It happens a lot. Also for citizenship, by the way.
Host: Oh is that right?
Myles: Yeah, people are precluded from becoming a citizen but one thing that happened and this has been going on since 9/11 and more significantly, the last 3 or 4 years. An American citizen who is convicted of DUI tries to go to Canada, they will send you back. You can’t even get into Canada with a DUI conviction.
Host: Well, maybe that’s a good thing! You ever go to Canada? Too many foreigners.
Myles: Are you saying those are the ones that couldn’t get into the states? Is that what you are suggesting Jack?
Host: Speaking of those people, they drink a lot of beer up there too. So here is the bottom line. It’s very important that people know about this stuff, Myles because nobody wants to have to be involved in such a situation but they should call a Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney Myles L. Berman specifically. It’s like when you are getting a divorce. Nobody wants to get a divorce but you are going out and get the best attorney you possibly can. I think that’s the important takeaway from this. So, to kind of tie a bow around it, if a situation arises and you are arrested for DUI, in a nutshell, what should someone do?
Myles: Again, all I can do is say what their rights are. They have the right to refuse the officers’ questions aside from showing identification, driver’s license, registrations but they don’t have to say where they are coming from, where they are going to. They don’t have to do the field sobriety tests, before arrest they don’t have to do the portable breath test. Once you are arrested and if you are arrested, then you have the choice of a blood or a breath test. So people are very smart, the audience are very smart. If I keep saying that the breath test machine is the most unreliable, then the people may want to consider taking that as opposed to taking a blood test but at the same time a blood test is; here is what people generally think of a blood test.
That they ask for blood tests and it will delay maybe 30 minutes to an hour and sometimes an hour and a half before the blood draw actually occurs and that won’t necessarily save them from prosecution because the prosecutors will relate back to the time of driving what the alcohol level was..
Host: so you are not gaining anything by postponing thinking that the alcohol will diminish in your system.
Myles: For the DUI prosecution in court, however, whenever somebody is arrested for DUI, by the way, first offense in LA County, there are four or five pilot counties in the state and if you get convicted of a first offense DUI in LA County, you have to have an ignition interlock device in any car that you own or have access to for 5 months.
Host: is that where you have to literally blow into like a hose or the car won’t start?
Myles: Correct. Now you don’t know from personal experience
Host: No I had some friends. It turns out I know a lot about this stuff and it’s always a friend of mine and Myles.
Myles: Regarding the DMV, it’s a separate procedure. So if sometimes they delay in taking a blood test and that comes back under a 0.08, the DMV then may not take action. So it’s a balancing act.
Host: Well look. There is a lot to learn and the reason we did this especially around the 4th of July is so people can start rethinking about this stuff and we always recommend, don’t drink and drive. Definitely, don’t get over served but in case it ever happens, 888-4-TopGun is your number or then go to your website which is TopGunDUI.com and listen to the commercials on the radio. The commercials that you have on KLOS are very informative and we hope that you don’t need Myles’ services but if you do, just like I didn’t want a divorce attorney but I needed one. I wish you were one Myles, you would have saved me a couple of bucks but if you do, it’s Myles L. Berman, our Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney. Thanks for checking us out at 955KLOS.com and happy Fourth of July.
Myles: Thanks and I want to wish the audience a very healthy and happy and safe and sober 4th of July holiday
Host: Yes and please no speedos at the pool this year. Thanks a bunch
Description: Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney® Myles L. Berman® interviewed about July 4th Holiday DUI enforcement and checkpoints with Jack Silver.
Myles L. Berman® is known as the Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney® for all of Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange County.
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