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.)
Only one step needed contact AA.
I have zero tolerance for alcoholics. Especially ones that get behind a wheel.
What if you’re detained for being a Tea Partier?
Does Tea on your breath incriminate you?
0. Don’t drink and drive in the first place.
Yep. The best thing to do is NOT drink and drive.
Where I live the police will arrest you for ‘suspicion’ of DWI if you blow below the legal limit of .08. They will not release you. You have to get bailed out of jail.
Don’t admit a damned thing and don’t fight the cops.
Check your local laws. In AZ refusing the breathalyzer can be an automatic 12 month license suspension. And they have the tools to do the blood test on site, so there’s no “do it at the station” option, yeah they need a warrant, but they can get that by radio. Refusing the field sobriety test is good, but in some states you don’t have much leeway on that either.
In Missouri, if you refuse to do numbers 5 and 6 you lose your license for one year. A buddy of mine lost his because he refused, but he was over the legal limit when they did one at the police station.
In California contacting an attorney is a waste of time and money. You ain’t gonna get off.
The one SURE way to avoid a DUI???? Don’t drink and drive ....either take a cab or have some one who has had nothing other than water or coffee or soda to drink do the driving.....why risk it???
I know a person who was prosecuted and convicted of DWI with a .02 BAC.
That's one beer. What do you people want?
We tried prohibition once and it was disastrous. That was with a Constitutional amendment. Now we effectively have it again without having gone through that process.
What do you want?
Driving a car is one of, if not the most, dangerous things we can do. Doing it while impaired is really, really, insanely stupid.
Same way in every State.
Still the prudent thing to do.
I can’t help wondering whether some of this advice might be contingent on the laws of the state where you are pulled over (i.e. whether or not you can refuse a field sobriety test or a hand=held breathalyzer).
I don’t drink and drive, but I will note there are bunch of studies that show the average driver is not materially imparied at .08
This article has some excellent advice. Be polite and respectful to the police officer but stand up for your rights. Even if you are stone-cold sober, you should always refuse a field sobriety test or a Breathalyzer. A nervous person could fail a field sobriety test and a Breathalyzer can easily produce a false positive and this would be very difficult to beat in court, especially with so many knee-jerk people prejudiced like you.
Ideally I would say yes.
But in some places, if the officers says “I believed that Nifster was driving chemically impaired. Since the tests are not accurate, they can not be used to prove his innocence.”
I know people who are "impaired" by being too old to pay attention or too fat to work the controls.
Until we start prosecuting those people for DWI, I guess I will continue arguing against all the DWI laws and procedures.
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