Steps to Take After You’ve Been Pulled Over For A DUI
A DUI (driving under the influence) is a serious criminal offense that has a couple of long-term consequences. The majority of DUIs are considered misdemeanors; however, should a crash occur as a result of driving while under the influence, the offense is viewed as a felony DUI. Such cases are often a result of the driver fleeing the accident scene or causing serious injury or even death due to driving while intoxicated.
If you have been stopped by a police officer on suspicion of driving while under the influence, there are several things that you could do that could help neutralize the situation a bit. Here is a look at steps you should follow when stopped on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
- Find a safe spot to pull over. The police officer that asked you to pull over will be observing how and where you pull over. If you end up being arrested for driving while intoxicated, he or she will include this in their notes. If you don’t drive erratically, pull over to a safe location, or slow down too hastily, you are not doing yourself any favors.
- Don’t Make Any Sudden Movements. Officers are always cautious and alert and are ready to protect themselves at all times. Police are trained to approach cars from behind to ensure they have a clear view of who is inside the vehicle and what they are doing. When pulled over, make sure both of your hands are on the steering wheel in a visible manner and avoid making hasty or sudden movements.
- Behave Politely. If you handle the officer with politeness and respect, you might end up not being arrested. Driving under the influence cases are long and complicated and are often subject to lots of discretion on the part of the police officer investigating you on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. By not behaving with hostility or rudely, following the officer’s instructions, and being polite, you are doing yourself a huge favor.
- Never Answer Any Incriminating Questions. When pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, all that you required to do is to identify yourself and demonstrate that your car is on the road legally. As such, once you have handed over your registration and license, and maybe proof of insurance, you are not required to communicate anymore with the police officer. Never answer any questions that might incriminate you. Also, never tell a lie. Police know that people tend to incriminate themselves when they are in stressful situations. If you cannot kindly deny answering any questions, then make sure that you answer them as honestly as possible since lies could be used against you should you be arrested.
- Refuse Hand-Held Breathalyzer and Field Sobriety Tests. There is no legal prerequisite that you should perform a sobriety test of any kind as they are tools officers use to compile evidence against DUI suspects. However, depending on the state you are in, refusing to undergo a breathalyzer test could result in your license being temporarily suspended. However, if you are intoxicated, this point is irrelevant, and a DWI conviction will have more substantial penalties. The best thing would be to take a chemical test at the station. Kindly let the arresting officer know that you’ll gladly do so if you are arrested.
- Take Notes. Taking notes of everything that you can remember will help you come up with a defense strategy. Start by noting down what you were doing before driving off up through to the moment your pulled over, arrested, and all the tests you were submitted to by the arresting officer.
Source: Miami Dui Lawyer