Helpful Tips for Being Pulled for Suspicion of DUI
If you’ve ever been pulled over or arrested for a DUI, you have probably felt a great deal of anxiety about what to do. While nobody ever anticipates getting pulled over for a DUI, there’s always that fear when you go out with your friends or family and having a great time, that the one or two glasses of wine with dinner could put you over the legal limit and get you in trouble if you were to get pulled over on the way home.
Knowing what to do if you are ever pulled over for a possible DUI could be the difference between getting home and getting arrested. If ever in a situation where you are confronted by a police offer, here are some tips that might be helpful and prevent you from potentially hurting your defense case down the road.
Be polite and respectful of the officer. This might seem like an obvious one, but being disrespectful, uncooperative or even hostile to any law enforcement officer will typically never work out in your favor. When being pulled over, find a safe place to pull over, follow instructions and do not make any sudden movements.
There are two alcohol tests. Most officers will ask you to take a breath test using a breathalyzer, but may not inform you that you have the option to also take a blood test and that you have the option between the two tests. The breath test is a preliminary alcohol screening and, unless you are under 21 years of age or on probation for a DUI conviction, you can refuse to take the breathalyzer test without losing your license. If you’ve had anything to drink, you are better off informing the officer that you would like to decline taking the preliminary screening test using the breathalyzer and would like to submit a blood test at the police station. Knowing that you have the option of the two alcohol screening tests may be the difference between winning and losing your DUI case.
You can decline field sobriety tests. When issued your California driver’s license, you agree to submit to a chemical alcohol screening test. However, you are not required to submit to field sobriety tests. Officers are only trained to spot clues for mistakes which may possibly indicate intoxication and they will testify about these mistakes, which may hurt you. You can politely decline to take the field sobriety test and state that they you believe that they are extremely subjective and not required by California law.
Don’t incriminate yourself. Where a lot of honest people make a major mistake while pulled over is by answering questions about whether or not they’ve had anything to drink, how much, and when. You are not required to answer these questions and answering these questions, regardless of how you think might be a good way to respond to these questions could really harm you if you should get arrested and charged with driving under the influence. While being pulled over on the side of the road, you are considered to be detained by the officer and are protected by your Miranda rights. The only thing you are required to provide while detained is your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of auto insurance.
Once released, write down everything you can about what happened. If you get arrested and taken to the police station, write down all of the facts and everything you can possibly remember about the night. Write down what you were doing, where you were going, what time it was, how much you had to drink (if anything), what the officer said, any instructions the officer gave to you, what you said, if you were read your Miranda rights, etc. The more you can write down and document, the better. The further away from the time of the event, the more you will forget and the harder it will be to remember key facts that can help you and your case.
In conclusion, understanding and knowing the difference between what to do and what not to do is the difference between landing yourself in jail and getting a DUI conviction. While the best advice we could ever provide is to never drink and drive, hopefully some of these tips will help you if you should ever find yourself in such a predicament.
This post is brought to you the good folks at Hoffman & Associates, servicing DUI and automobile accident needs of those throughout the greater Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. If you or a loved one has ever been pulled over for a DUI, contact us at 1-888-377-9770 to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We’d love to connect with you on Facebook!