Frequently Asked Questions about DUI in Kansas [Part II]

This is the second installment of our two-part blog covering frequently asked questions regarding DUI in Kansas.  While we attempt to address some of the most common issues that concern prospective clients that contact us, we encourage you to review Part I of this FAQ on Kansas DUI and contact us to arrange a free consultation about the specific issues in your DUI case.

What happens if I refuse to take a roadside portable breath test or participate in FSTs?

Although the officer may ask you to perform FSTs, you generally should decline this offer.  The decision to perform these divided attention tests is entirely up to you.  The officer is simply trying to build probable cause to justify a DUI arrest and to gather evidence to be used to establish intoxication at trial so there is no real benefit to agreeing to FSTs.  A preliminary roadside breath test is far less accurate than formal BAC testing that can be the basis for a Refusal charge under the Kansas implied consent law.  A roadside breath test with a portable handheld device cannot be the basis of a license suspension though you could be subject to a fine.  The purpose of the portable breath test along with FSTs is to establish probable cause for arrest so that a formal BAC test can be administered.  Generally, a motorist is better off declining the portable breath test unless the driver has had absolutely nothing to drink.

Can I get in trouble for lying when the police officer asks if I have been drinking?

While you should not lie when asked if you have been drinking, you also are not obligated to provide incriminating information.  The best option is to indicate that you do not wish to answer any questions without your lawyer.

Do DUI defendants really win at trial?

This may be one of the greatest misconceptions among those charged with DUI.  Many presume that DUI cases are easy cases for prosecutors to win.  However, one national study of DUI cases found that less than half of all DUI cases that proceed to trial result in a DUI conviction.

What basis must a police officer have for pulling me over in Kansas?

The officer must stop you for a traffic violation such as speeding, running a stop sign, failure to wear a seat belt or other traffic offense.  Alternatively, the officer may pull you over because his observations of your driving result in reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed.  For example, a driver is swerving back and forth while driving at an extremely slow rate of speed may justify a stop.

During the stop, what evidence will the officer look for when deciding whether to arrest me?

The officer will look for physical signs of impairment, which may include the odor of alcohol emanating from a driver’s breath, watery bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and lack of coordination.

Can I choose which BAC chemical test I wish to take?

Under Kansas law, the officer may request that you submit to blood, urine or breath testing at the officer’s discretion.  A motorist will be charged with the crime of Refusal and have his or her driver’s license suspended if the motorist declines the BAC test chosen by the police officer.

While we have tried to answer many common Kansas DUI questions, the best way to get specific information about your unique circumstances is to set up a confidential free consultation.  If you have been arrested for DUI, experienced Sedgwick County DUI defense attorney Bill Cummings provides a diligent defense to protect his clients from the harsh penalties of a Kansas DUI conviction.  We offer a free initial consultation that is absolutely confidential so call us today at 316-264-1548 to learn how we can help.