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The importance of remaining silent after a DUI accident

Motorists in California and every other U.S. state may face severe penalties when they get behind the wheel with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or higher, and the sanctions can be particularly harsh when drunk driving accidents result in injuries or fatalities. These cases often hinge on the results of toxicology tests that may sometimes be challenged by defense attorneys, but motorists frequently make mounting a defense more difficult by confessing to police officers or making otherwise incriminating statements.

One such case involves a 21-year-old Michigan man who admitted to police that he had been drinking after crashing his vehicle into a tree. The accident took place on Old Plank Road in the town of Milford at approximately 11:00 p.m. on March 29. Two of the man's six passengers suffered serious injuries in the crash, and reports indicate that the man may face felony drunk driving charges as a result. The man was also seriously hurt in the accident.

Police responding to the accident say that a breath test revealed the man's BAC to be .135 percent at the time of the crash, and additional toxicology tests were subsequently ordered. The man is said to have admitted to police that he drank some beer at a friend's home some three to four hours prior to the accident.

The U.S. Constitution protects the rights of the public by strictly limiting what police officers can and cannot do, but these protections are of little use when those accused of committing crimes fail to take advantage of them. Police officers routinely ask motorists if they have been drinking, and answering this question with a yes could make it more difficult for defense attorneys seeking to have charges reduced during plea discussions with prosecutors.

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