One of the more common questions my firm receives from our university clients is whether the courts can move forward with criminal charges even though they didn’t blow into the police officer’s portable breath test. Because a breathalyzer is one of many tools a police officer can use to develop probable cause to arrest or cite for underage drinking, a suspect doesn’t necessarily have to blow into an officer’s breathalyzer.
If a person refuses to blow, an officer can still use their three senses to determine whether they have consumed alcohol. These senses include the officer’s sense of sight, smell and hearing. An officer’s sight includes looking for any signs and symptoms consistent with alcohol consumption. Is the person swaying, are there balancing issues, do they look disheveled. Second, even though you may not blow into a breathalyzer, if your breath smells like alcohol, the officer has probable cause to issue the citation. Finally, if your speech is slurred, you’re acting belligerent, or your conducting yourself in any other manner in which a reasonable person would believe that you have consumed alcohol, the officer can issue a citation.
Believe it or not, establishing probable cause for underage drinking cases is very easy. That said, after representing countless clients for underage drinking, I am convinced police officers pick on college students and make false accusations. They know that when they get to court, a judge will most likely believe their side of the story over a student’s.
Police are Hoping You Don’t Have Lawyer
Police officers see college students as just young kids and it is my opinion they like to abuse their power and bully students. They may believe the student won’t tell their parents and won’t get a lawyer involved. My office goes the extra mile for our clients. We hold the police and prosecutors office accountable. We are familiar with effective defenses that could result in a dismissal of our client’s Minor in Consumption, Minor in Possession or Underage Drinking Charge.
A Lawyer Who Helps College Students
We understand that college students are on a tight budget. We believe that everyone should have the right to receive the highest level of legal representation and have their Constitutional rights protected. For these reasons, we work with our clients who are college students and figure out an affordable way for them to receive our services. If you have been charged with MIC or MIP, call my office to find out how our lawyers can help.