Skip to comments.What To Do If You're Pulled Over And Arrested For DUI
Posted on 06/20/2013 3:18:55 PM PDT by kreitzer
What To Do If Youre Pulled Over And Arrested For DUI
Heres the straight story on what to do if youre pulled over and arrested for drunk driving.
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 your criminal trial and your DMV hearing. One of the first things the officer does is make a mental note of how you pull over. If you drive erratically, slow down too abruptly, or pull over in an unsafe location, the officer notes it in the report.
2. Dont 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, dont make any sudden movements and keep your hands on the wheel at 10 and 2 oclock.
3. Be polite.
The obvious reason to treat the officer respectfully is that you are far less likely to be arrested. If youre rude or hostile, the officer is more likely do everything possible to get you convicted, including writing a very incriminating police report. If the officer asks you to step out of the vehicle, you must comply, otherwise you could be charged with resisting arrest.
4. Dont answer any potentially incriminating questions, and dont lie.
The anxiety of getting pulled over is something police officers count on. In this kind of situation, people are far more likely to incriminate themselves. You do have to give your name, license and registration to the police officer. But if the officer asks you if youve been drinking, or how muchand you're concerned that you might incriminate yourselfsimply say, Im sorry, officer, but Ive been advised not to answer any questions.
If you have had only one or two drinks, say so. With very few exceptions, one or two drinks will not put you over the legal limit.
Lying, however, is never a good idea. If you answer a question, answer it truthfully. If you lie, and the officer knows it, the fact that you lied can be used against you in court.
5. Refuse a 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 officers disposal for collective evidence against you. Thats not because they are reliable indicators of intoxication. To the contrary, the value of FSTs is that they are entirely subjective. Its completely up to the officer whether you pass. (For more information on the history and science behind FSTs, read the article Are Field Sobriety Tests Accurate?)
6. Refuse a hand-held breathalyzer.
Roadside breathalyzers (otherwise known as Preliminary Alcohol Screening tests or PASs) are notoriously unreliable, and there are countless ways to skew their results. (For more information about hand-held breathalyzers, read the article How Police Officers Influence Breathalyzer Results).
7. Take a chemical test at the police station.
You are obligated by law to take a chemical test at the police station. In most states, you can choose between a blood test or breath test. Many DUI lawyers advise people to take the breath tests because they're more unreliable, so their validity can be more effectively attacked in court. (For more information on the myriad problems with the breath tests, read the article The Unreliability of the Breath Test.)
8. Once youve 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 doesnt 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 How to pick a DUI attorneyknow what questions to ask.)
I have tried a handful DUIs with excellent results. Too difficult to beat in CA anymore. I agree with the info in the article. The best advice I can add is to refuse the FSTs. It varies by state, but in CA, to win you must beat both the FST, AND the formal tests, i.e. blood, breath, or urine.
tell them you’re an illegal immigrant from mexico...
and you’ll be on your way
Nope, relish it.
Tested out at 160+ IQ 3 times.
Had to do it 3 times because the people in charge refused to believe the first 2.
For whatever reason you're stopped, if at night, turn on the interior lights in an attempt to further defuse the situation.
I joined AA once, and I don't even drink - I needed the stage time.
“......because the people in charge refused to believe the first 2.” I completely understand. LMAO
Everyone has a fantasy, you’re welcome to have yours. LOL.... please stop, Einstein, my sides are aching.
If the union thugs with guns want to jack with you for any reason, don't make it any easier for them.
I find that funny! I guess you just look stupid. :)
“Problem is, they use the DUI laws to generate revenue, lots and lots of revenue.”
That’s about the only aspect of it that IS the same in all fifty states.
Yup, sure do. They started testing me in 6th grade. Finally surrendered when I was a junior in college.
People who have been drinking and are stopped for DUI often very reliably answer questions in such a way that they are guaranteed to be arrested. They think they are being crafty, but the police hear the same things over and over again.
1) “I only had two beers”. This one almost makes cops roll their eyes it is so trite. If you say it, you will be arrested with no other evidence.
2) The police report will likely say that your speech was slurred, your eyes were glazed and red, your clothing was disheveled, you had alcohol on your breath, you fumbled the license and registration, you staggered when you got out of the car, you couldn’t stand on one leg without falling and you failed the heel-to-toe walking test. It will also likely tell you that you flunked the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Often this is “cut and paste”, and the officer will use exactly the same text for every DUI.
3) Police mugshots are intended to make you look bad. If you have longer hair, the police will “search” prior to the shot, to muss it up. If you are wearing makeup, they will make you wash it off in a sink with cold water and harsh soap, that makes your face look bad and your eyes red. Fluorescent lighting is guaranteed to make you look bad. And unless you have a stone face, they will select a picture of you looking off, with a stupid expression, or lots of other gimmicks.
4) In any case, ASAP after arrest you should have your picture taken by a friend that doesn’t make you look bad, and it should have a time/date stamp on it. Hopefully with a flash and your eyes wide open, showing no redness.
It worked for me. Then again, I don't have an attitude.
Every question, plus the FST, plus the Statements of Probable Cause are all templates with the variables filled in by the arresting officer(s).
The templates were co-authored by MADD and NHTSA. They all look alike.
I gotta to go..... I’m so darn excited. I need to hurry up and tell everyone in this here trailer park that I got to talk to a real genius.
I remember how excited the neighborhood got when Billy Brown graduated the 4th grade, two full years before me.... we even gave him a parade to honor him. We had dogs, cats, chickens, a cow and even that stupid city kid walking in the parade.
I bet you had ones of those honor parades.
Wow, I got to talk to a genius, a real honest to goodness genius. Yep, you and Billy Brown are famous.
Which tests them at below 70...
Thanks, Mr kreitzer, for posting this.
Several years ago I was stopped and arrested for DUI...it was about 2 AM on a Fri night/Sat morning. They made me do a field sobriety test (didn’t know at that time I could refuse). They had my car towed and took me to the police station. There they used a breathalizer for the chemical test. They looked at the results, shook their head, recalibrated the machine, and said we had do it again. Finally they told me the results - I blew 0.00. Twice. Oh, and by the way, I had not been drinking. They released me.
I demanded my car back, but it had been impounded and they said I could not get it until Monday. I told them that was not good enough. Finally, after a phone call they told me I could get it back the next day, Saturday. I also told them I would not pay any towing/impound fees. Their sorry asses were glad to be rid of me.
I thought about suing them. Decided not to. Looking back, I still think that was a good choice.
So anyhow, Mr Ray, you do not have to be drinking to get run through their DUI mill, and btw, having a drink does not make one an alcoholic, so get off your high horse before you fall off and hurt your self.
Too bad. You won't be of any use in the coming strife.
What do you mean by “don’t fight the cops”?
5. Refuse a field sobriety test.
6. Refuse a hand-held breathalyzer.
be considered fighting the cops?
What if you aren't an alcoholic? What if you aren't intoxicated? Are you suggesting that everyone who gets pulled over by a cop for DUI is guilty? Or that everyone who gets pulled over for DUI is alcoholic?
These are valuable tips for innocent drivers and especially valuable for drivers who have had a reasonable amount to drink and aren't intoxicated.
The author forgot step 1A ,
Get out your first digital voice recorder , turn it on and put it in your shirt pocket. turn on your 2nd voice recorder and leave it running from a place inside the car.
The police are NEVER your friends.
Best to steer clear of ‘em.
But if “You’re Pulled Over And Arrested For....” any reason, what would you suggest?
Seems to me refusing to co-operate might just piss them off.
Since both the breathalyzer and the blood draw would come back showing nothing....I have nothing to worry about. If my driving was erratic then the officer has to describe that to the court....and maybe said officer would be correct. Though I stress that I work at being a good defensive driver out of a deep sense of self preservation
So I guess my zero altitude barrel roll through a stranger's front yard was not such a good idea?
PS BAL=0.398, somewhat over the legal 0.08
Even though AA is probably the most effective method, it only has about a 15% long-term rate. You are one of the exceptions who doesn't need a support system. I'm a borderline introvert and also do such things "solo". Notice how I'm talking around having gone to AA for the "Mental health gun grabbing snoops"? Never been diagnosed as an alky - decided it would be best to no drink any more almost 25 years ago. Besides, not all in AA are alcoholics (or even druggies in case you snoops are interested), some use it as a ready-made group of "friends" that can also be used as support for other issues.
AA obviously works for some. I recently read that Robert Downey Jr still attends AA meetings once per week. He went from teen star to perpetual inmate to major Hollywood draw.
at the other end of the scale is Dave Mustaine, lead singer of Megadeth. He walked away from AA and became a committed Christian and found sobriety that way.
I actually had that experience once, but they refused to believe the first four! It was Christmas Eve a couple of years ago and I had a couple of beers at a party. But I had switched to water a couple of hours before leaving so I'd be okay for a long drive home. I saw the lights shortly before I got home. I had been going a few miles over the speed limit and they stopped me for speeding. My wife was in the car with me and she had not made any attempt to sober up before leaving. Well the cop said he smelled booze and asked me to get out the car. Knowing that it's best not to take the FS tests I did so anyway because I knew I was sober. He went right to the field breathalyzer. He ordered me to blow, which I did. After looking at the instrument he started shaking it, gave it back to me and ordered me to blow again, but this time harder, which I did. Same result. Now his muscle head partner gets out of the car and starts screaming at me to BLOW! Same thing. Now they're really yelling at me to BLOW, DAMN IT, BLOW! So I did. Now they're really pissed, looking at the instrument, banging it against their knees to try to fix whatever was obviously wrong it. Finally, they told me it was showing .04 and said I was free to go. And cops wonder why they're not respected?
By the way, people should know that being below .08 doesn't mean you can't get charged with DUI. All the .08 means is that you're legally presumed to be impaired at that level. The opposite is not true. If you blow under .08 you are not legally presumed not to be impaired. If you exhibit signs that you've been drinking but blow less than .08 they can still use their observations (glassy eyes, slurred speech, weaving, smell of alcohol, etc., whatever else they can make up) to nail you, though it's much harder for them to get a conviction.
What about keeping a small bottle of liquor under the front seat and drinking it in front of the cop after he pulls you over?
Aside from potentially getting the snot beaten out of you, will it ruin their case against you?
“That’s one beer. What do you people want?”
They want fascism, when it suits their preference. But we already know that.....
Remember, driving is not a right it is a privelege. Unless you are an illegal alien!
“Hubby hit a cow and wrecked our truck recently, officers on the scene wanted him to take a field sobriety test but he explained to them that he had a stroke a few years ago and his slight impairment would likely cause him to fail the test. He offered to do a breath test and he did, had not been drinking. He said the officers were very professional and did not question his not wanting to do the field sobriety, guess they had common sense.”
What was the legal consequences that the court imposed upon your husband? I suspect that there were none, but wanted to confirm. Until then, let’s take a look at the facts as you have presented them:
1. Your husband is an impaired driver every time he drives.
2. Your husband caused property damage that impacted someone’s livelihood.
3. The situation and result did not involve alcohol.
4. The result was worse than what most DUI arrested drivers have caused to others.
I am not an advocate of allowing impaired driving, however I am an advocate of taking appropriate punitive action against any driver that causes property or personal damage to any other party.
I had a friend killed on his morning commute to work by a lady that was texting and rear ended him at a speed of 45-60 mph. She never spent a day in jail. I also have a friend that received a DUI and spent 90 days in jail, he had never caused another person any property damage or bodily harm.
This clear difference has trained society to consider driving after consuming ANY alcohol to be very dangerous, and it can be. However, it has also made people think that other wreckless actions are not dangerous when driving.
While this situation has done much in the area of revenue collection, it has actually made the roads more dangerous.
“For whatever reason you’re stopped, if at night, turn on the interior lights in an attempt to further defuse the situation.”
Actually, the opposit is true. I never would have thought it, but I just spoke with a police officer about it and he said that you should leave your interior lights off. It allows their flash lights to be more effective...I suppose that after their approach to your car, then turning them on would be helpful.
(No, I wasn’t pulled over, this conversation occured in a civilian setting. ;-)
What about keeping a small bottle of liquor under the front seat and drinking it in front of the cop after he pulls you over?
I read a news story years back (think it was from New York) where someone was in an accident ... ran to a nearby liquor store and consumed mass quantities ... they couldn’t charge him despite an elevated BAC because it couldn’t be proven that the alcohol was there before the accident and of course he had the receipt and witnesses showing consumption afterwards... I think he also had the good sense to NOT return to the (undrivable) car as just sitting in it would have re-opened the timeline for alcohol and being in the car.
DUI stands for driving under the influence. Here, it used to be DWI, driving while intoxicated. I just wonder, how many more people are driving under the influence of narcotics (prescribed or not), or otherwise driving impaired? What tests have you ever heard being used for these people.
I’ll answer my own question. Pretty much none. So, let’s demonize drinkers, and let Mrs Jones, who’s driving around with 3 lortabs, or her daily dose of “nerve pills” drive around with no consequences.
Hubby is not an impaired driver, he is an impaired walker- he walks normally but cannot do the heel toe thing, or one foot at a time type thing- between being blown up and having a slight stroke his balance is not 100%. He is good to go on the rest. He was not charged with anything. Our insurance paid for the cow. People hit cows on the roads here at night all the time- we still have open range areas, hubby has only hit one in his lifetime so I don’t see him as a driving risk or a huge risk to cows. In fact hubby has only been in three wrecks- one a deputy sheriff ran a red light (not in pursuit) t-boned hubby, then about 10 years later hubby hit a deer- then recently the cow. Good you are concerned with property damage- when our livestock is killed on the road the driver usually flees and we don’t get paid but we would not do that to anyone else. You sure do assume a lot...
You posted: “he explained to them that he had a stroke a few years ago and his slight impairment would likely cause him to fail the test.”
It isn’t much of an assumption to link driving capability to your statement regarding impairement. In addition, you skipped over the point of my post. Your husband still did more than the vast majority of DUI arrests, yet there was no court involvement at all (it sounds like none was necessary as you made the owner of the cow whole.)
As a society we find it acceptable to not jail folks that cause property damage (your hubby) or others that actually kill people (my friend as one example) so long as those drivers had not consumed alcohol. Yet, we also find it acceptable to continue to increase the penalties and jail time requirements for others that never caused property damage or bodily harm to others.
This dicotomy has created a more dangerous driving situation. While I think your husbands situation may be entirely proper and that the driver that killed my friend should certainly be imprisoned for a very long time, I am wondering, how is the result of their situations somehow LESS damaging now than if they had been consuming alcohol?
I would prefer that all negligent drivers be treated equally, regardless of alcohol consumption. One could make the property owners’ whole, as you have done, or one could face long term prison sentences if their driving negligence causes the death of someone. It should not be that one can cause no harm, but because of some politically popular number be imprisoned while others cause harm and have much less repercussions.
While some FReepers celebrate....
That change from DWI to DUI just threw the barn door open to the possibilities of being charged... laws used to mean something ,, now everything is an open ended fishing expedition ,, and of course by leaving everything so loose it makes defending near impossible and incredible expensive.
Roger that. An attorney buddy shared his DUI checklist with me years ago. That step was on the list.
I have never been a fan of the draconian laws of DUI, they have no common sense and do not do what they claim. The repeat DUI offender, absolute alcoholic that is going to drive no matter what- still does... Many people that are not impaired but may be close or a spec over legal on the breath test after one or two drinks often have their lives ruined.
You are worried about fair...did you know that until just a few years ago there was a separate DUI court system for minorities in Phoenix, Arizona? Yep the minorities- it was set up mostly for illegals- were given shorter sentences and lesser fines because it was felt that they were from another culture where it was ok and they were also poor. Until the program came to the attention of the public in Arizona that brought enough pressure to make them stop illegals were getting a slap on the wrist and citizens were getting nailed to the wall for the very same offense.
OK, first I've heard of that. Makes sense.
Evidently being able to see into the future is a side benefit of copping an attitude.
Learn it, love it, live it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.