"So let’s turn to local DWI lawyer Dan Hynes, who laid out the damage for us: up to $5,000 for a lawyer; a $620 fine; about $1,000 for a DWI class, needed to get your license back; a spike in insurance premiums.
Want more? If you’re younger than 21, you lose your license for a year, minimum.
Remember, DWI is no longer merely a violation; it’s a crime."
A local Concord officer also chimed in: "“If you smell a beer, you’ll be over the limit,” O’Malley said. “All you need is glossy eyes or the smell of beer on you, and you will be charged.”"
I am not sure why he would issue that statement as it clearly goes against all the training he received at the police academy. If I had a case where an officer arrested someone based solely on glossy eyes and a smell of beer, I would probably advise suing that police officer for a false arrest. An officer needs probable cause to arrest, and even for someone under 21, I can't imagine a judge holding just a smell of beer and glossy eyes without anything else (such as all the things they are actually trained to look for in their 3 phases of DWI detection) would amount to probable cause. I have won a DMV hearing for someone under 21 with more evidence than that where the DMV found it was not reasonable to arrest.
The officer's statement that if you smell like beer you will be over the legal limit also lacks scientific validity. Every officer I have ever cross examined stated they cannot tell a person's BAC based upon an odor of alcohol. Is someone puts beer in their mouth swigs it around and spits it out (or has a beer spilled on them) they will spell like beer, but have a BAC of ZERO! If they drink non-alcoholic beer they will be pretty close to zero and well under the legal limit, as well as having a low BAC beer and waiting a few hours, will put most people well under the legal limit, even at .02. All of those things can cause someone to smell like beer, which it partly why an officer cannot determine a BAC based upon a smell of beer.
I understand the officer wants to deter underage people from drinking and driving, but flat out inaccurate statements like that will really harm his credibility now when he has to testify in DWI cases. When I cross examine him, now those statements will go against his training, scientific validity, and really just show he is now out to arrest everyone and has already made up his mind.