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Your defenses during a DUI stop

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2022 | DUI Defense |

The best and wisest method to prevent a drunk driving charge is to drive only when you are sober. Nonetheless, you have constitutional rights if you are stopped by police and your actions could have a major impact if you are prosecuted.

Consequences

Keep in mind that a DUI conviction can have major consequences so knowing what to do during a police stop is important. An arrest can lead to criminal prosecution, possible jail time, probation, driver’s license suspension, mandatory completion of an educational program, and a criminal record. Fees may include court and legal fees, fines, vehicle storage fees, counseling, course completion fees and higher insurance premiums.

Actions 

Follow these general rules during a police stop:

  • Pull over to a safe spot and turn off the engine.
  • Keep your hands on the steering wheel and do not make suspicious movements or try to hide anything.
  • Be polite and never argue with the police officer.
  • Police are not asking innocent questions so provide only minimal information, do not answer questions about where you were or what you were doing and politely decline to provide information.
  • Never lie.
  • Provide your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance, if asked.
  • Refuse to take a field sobriety test that measures your physical ability to perform tests because these are subjective.
  • You must submit to a breathalyzer, urine or blood test or your license will be suspended for at least 1 year. A breathalyzer test is easier to attack in court. Take these tests at the police station or hospital if you can.
  • Be polite if you are taken to the police station and assert your right to remain silent.

After the arrest

After you are released from custody, you should write down everything you remember about the stop and arrest including:

  • What you were drinking and the amount.
  • The elapsed time from when you stopped drinking and the police stop.
  • Your activities and where you were before you got into your vehicle.
  • The location of the police stop.
  • The police officer’s conduct toward you and what the officer said.
  • Whether the police read your Miranda rights if you were arrested.
  • The location and time of your chemical test.
  • The amount of time from when you stopped drinking and underwent the chemical test.

Seeking legal representation as soon as possible may help protect your rights. A qualified attorney can help assure that you mount an effective defense.