Have you been pulled over for a DUI? Here is what you should do…
Many people have preconceived notions about what to do if they are arrested for DUI. You can, however, defend yourself and your rights by following these procedures. It is critical to seek the counsel of an experienced DUI attorney.
STEP 1 – Exit the vehicle in a regular, calm manner.
Utilize your turn signal, promptly pull over, and come to a complete stop. It is critical to note that when you are pulled over for DUI, the whole stop (including your driving immediately preceding the stop) is recorded.
STEP 2 – Keep an air of politeness at all times.
Your chat with the police is being recorded (audio and video). Give no justification for anyone seeing the footage down the road to conclude you were being harsh, argumentative, or intoxicated. Always address the officer as “sir or ma’am” and avoid being aggressive with the officer at any moment.
When Arrested for DUI, STEP 3 – Refrain from admitting to drinking.
Following a DUI stop, you must supply the police officer with your name, driver’s license, registration, and car insurance information; but, you are not required to answer any incriminating questions. For instance, “how much alcohol have you had to consume tonight?” You are NOT required to respond to this question. Indeed, it is to your advantage to remain silent and avoid speaking. Again, the conversation is being recorded, which means that any admission of intoxication may and will be used against you in court.
NOTE: The primary difficulty with confessing to drinking is its vague nature. The officer will request that you admit to how much alcohol you’ve consumed, but will not follow up with questions such as “what type of alcohol, what size drinks, when did you consume alcohol, did you consume anything?” In Ohio, it is legal to drink and drive. It is illegal to consume alcohol and then drive when impaired. Therefore, if you do admit to drinking, be sure to clarify what type of alcohol you drank, when you drank it, how much you drank, and whether you drank it with food.
STEP 4 – Refrain from participating in any field sobriety testing.
The police may request that you exit your vehicle, but they cannot compel you to undertake field sobriety testing. These examinations are entirely voluntary. When an officer requests that you exit your vehicle, you must obey (but do not use your door or vehicle for balance when exiting). Once you exit your vehicle, politely decline to do any field sobriety testing. Simply state: “my attorney advised me never to consent to these exams.”
NOTE: Never perform field sobriety tests, as they are extremely tough and require a high level of specificity in order to pass. If you lack equilibrium, you will almost certainly fail these tests (regardless of how much alcohol consumed). Even if you have excellent balance, you will fail these tests due to their difficulty/specificity.
STEP 5 – Refuse to submit to a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine).
If you are pulled over for a DUI, politely deny the officer’s request to perform a breath, blood, or urine test if you have been drinking. Why? For a variety of reasons: 1. Breath tests consistently generate incorrect findings for a variety of reasons (see here). 2. Regardless of whether you submit to a chemical test, the officer will arrest you for DUI / OVI (even if you blow under the legal limit).
After refusing to submit to the chemical test, you will face (at least) a one-year administrative license suspension (ALS), BUT you will also face (at least) a one-year court-ordered suspension if you are subsequently convicted of OVI. As a result, there is little to no reason to submit to a chemical test.
It should be remembered that simply because you submit to a breath, blood, or urine test and the results come back above the legal limit does not automatically mean you are guilty of DUI / OVI. Numerous defenses remain viable.
STEP 6 – Make no comment following your arrest, particularly when placed in the police cruiser.
Numerous police cruisers are equipped with microphones and cameras in the front and rear seats, which means that anything you say in the cruiser is being recorded (audio and video).
Bear in mind that you have the right to contact an attorney at any moment during the preceding discussion.