DUI: Know Your Rights?
What To Do If You’re Pulled Over and Arrested For DUI
1. Find a safe place to pull over.
Remember that, as soon as the police officer decides to pull you over for drunk driving (DUI/DWI), he starts making observations that he will put in the police report. This document can have a significant impact on the outcome of both criminal trial One of the first things the officer does is make a mental note of how you pulled over. If you drive erratically, slow down too abruptly, or pull over in an unsafe location, the officer notes it in his report.
2. Don’t make any sudden movements.
Officers are trained to be cautious, and to protect themselves, first and foremost. They always approach the car from behind so they have a clear view, and so the driver would have to turn completely around in order to shoot or attack them. So, don’t make any sudden movements and keep your hands on the wheel.
3. Be polite.
The obvious reason to treat the officer respectfully is that you are far less likely to be arrested. If you’re rude or hostile, the officer is more likely do everything possible to get you convicted, including writing a very incriminating police report.
4. Don’t lie but don’t answer potentially incriminating questions.
You will be nervous when you are pulled over which is something police officers count on. Most people think telling everything to the officer will help their situation, but it won’t. You have to give your name, license and registration to the police officer. But if the officer asks you if you’ve been drinking, or how much you’ve been drinking simply tell them that “I’ve been advised not to answer any questions.”
The most common response people give when asked, “how much have you been drinking” is “a couple beers”. This answer appears innocent because one or two drinks shouldn’t put you over the legal limit. But, from my experience what it communicates to the judges is that you were drinking, and that your really don’t know how much, so it must have been just a “couple”. Instead of saying a “couple” say, “I’ve been advised not to answer any questions.”
5. Refuse all field sobriety test.
You are under no legal obligation to perform a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests are one of the most effective tools at the officer’s disposal for collective evidence against you. The court will review how you preformed the test as a reliable indicator of intoxication.
6. Refuse a hand-held breathalyzer.
Roadside breathalyzers (otherwise known as Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) are notoriously unreliable, and the results are inadmissible in court as to intoxication. It is best to simply refuse to take the PBT.
7. Take the breathalyzer test at the police station.
You are required by Virginia law to take the breathalyzer test at the police station. In Virginia you do not have the ability to choose between a blood test or breath test.
8. Once you’ve been released, write down everything that you can remember about the night.
The more notes you take about your arrest, the easier it will be for your attorney to fight the charges against you. Include in your notes things like the following.
—what you were doing and where you were doing before you drove
—how much you had to drink
—how long after you were arrested
—how the officer behaved, any instructions he gave you
—what you said to the officer
—where you were pulled over
—when and if you were read your Miranda rights
—when you took the chemical test and how long it had been since your drank
Write down everything that you can think of, even if it doesn’t strike you as relevant.
9. Contact an attorney.
You both need and deserve an experienced DUI defense attorney who will fight for your rights. The single most important thing you can do for yourself is to find a qualified attorney who knows DUI law. (For more information on how to choose the best lawyer, read the article
Getting arrested for drunk driving (often referred to as “DUI” – driving under the influence ” or” DWI” – driving while intoxicated ) is a serious offense that can have significant consequences.
If the police suspect that you are drunk driving or have reason to believe you’ve been drinking) they will generally request that you take several sobriety tests to determine wheather is pobable case to arrest you. If you are arrested and taken to the station they will then administer a breath test. Virginia has an implied consent laws which means that you must comply with a test or face fines and/or license suspension for refusing to take the test.
What Happens After You are Arrested for DUI ?
If you refuse the test or are found to have a BAC over the state limit, chances are you’ll be taken into custody and brought to a police station where you’ll be held until someone can pick you up, or until next morning when you have sobered up. In addition, your license may be temporarily suspended and your vehicle may be impounded for a period of time after the incident. However, these penalties seldom apply to refusing to perform FST’swhich are the