12 Days of Christmas Tips – Day 10: Don’t Drink and Drive… and Do Not Talk to the Police!

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12 Days of Christmas Tips – Day 10: Don’t Drink and Drive… and Do Not Talk to the Police!

I know… you have heard it so many times before. Don’t drink and drive. It doesn’t seem like realistic advice to some; you may have heard the old joke, “Well then how am I  going to get home from the bar?” Even people who don’t typically drink or don’t drink very much will enjoy a drink during a Christmas party that they might not otherwise have.

But speaking as someone who lost a family member due to alcohol and cars, I can tell you they don’t mix well. If you are involved in an accident where someone is hurt, it is a burden you bear the rest of your life. The impact on the person hurt, or on the family of the person killed, is devastating. It can change the course of a person’s entire life, both the person driving while intoxicated, and the person injured. So please, call a cab, ask a friend for a ride, or sleep it off on someone’s sofa.

The police know that some people are going to drink and drive no matter what. So when you are pulled over by a police officer, one of the things that they are suspicious of is that you might have been drinking. They will ask you questions. You will want to answer. My opinion is that you really should not.

One of the great things about our country is our rights; those things that were established as basic expectations every citizen has. One of those is the right against self-incrimination. Today, we often assume someone is guilty when they “assert their 5th Amendment rights” because many of us do not understand how the legal system in our country works. It is an adversarial system. Most cases don’t go to trial because prosecutors make deals with the accused. They offer you a 5 year sentence if you plead guilty, but if you go to trial, they are asking for 25 years. For the 25-year-old, they have to consider if they want to be free at 28-30, or when they are 50 years old. When sitting in our homes, we think “I would never plead guilty for something I didn’t do.” But when you are sitting in a cell, and your lawyer tells you its a roll of the dice if you go to trial, it becomes a much more difficult decision to make.

One of the things a prosecutor is very good at doing is taking what you say during or after being arrested, and making you seem guilty. If you misstate a fact, or remember something incorrectly, you become a liar, and nothing you say can be trusted. Your lawyer may be hesitant to put you on the stand to defend yourself because your inaccurate statement will be pointed out as a lie. If the police officer remembers something you said incorrectly, you may be accused of telling a lie to the police. Either way, that is bad for you.

Now, I am NOT A LAWYER, so I am not giving you legal advice. I am simply telling you as your friendly, blogging private investigator… nothing you say to the police when you have been pulled over is going to help you. Don’t talk to the police.

Justice Robert Jackson, who served on the United States Supreme Court, as well as Attorney General of the United States, and the Chief US Prosecutor for the Nuremberg Trials, said this:

“Any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make NO statement to the police under ANY circumstances.”

Below is a video of Professor James Duane, a professor at Regent University School of Law. It is a long video. But if you ever find yourself in any situation where you might be arrested, or even questioned, by any law enforcement officer or agent, you will be really glad you know this stuff. Unless you are an experienced lawyer, I promise you will learn something. You will also realize why you must learn to be quiet and that you do not talk to the police. Period.



So, stay safe over the holidays. Also remember that we have an adversarial system, and the police and prosecutors are on the other side as soon as they consider you a suspect. Most detectives will tell you they consider everyone a suspect initially. When a police officer pulls you over, they already suspect you of having done something wrong. Use your 5th Amendment rights… innocent or not!



Keith Owens is the owner and founder of Owens Investigations.
photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

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