Being pulled over for a DUI can be a very scary experience. In addition to the obvious points, you could face jail time, heavy fines, and possibly lose your license for an extended period of time. If you are pulled over, you need to be aware of your rights as well as what you should and should not do to help your case. Knowing just the basic facts will help your DUI attorney in trying to fight the charges.
What You Should Do When Pulled Over for DUI
First and foremost, find a safe place to pull over and stop your car. Remain calm and try not to make any haphazard movements in the vehicle, as this will only hurt your case when the officer makes out his or her report. Make sure you signal, merge, and/or pull over in controlled movements.
When the officer approaches you, be very polite. If you start screaming insults at the officer, you are only going to encourage him/her to arrest you. Simply comply with any commands the officer gives up to the testing. If you only had one or two drinks, it is safe to acknowledge, but do not answer any questions that will hurt your case.
What Tests You Can Refuse During a DUI Stop
More than likely, the officer will ask you to do a field sobriety test; you do not have to take it. These tests are subjective by nature and the officer is the judge and jury for these tests. If he/she says you pass, you pass. If he/she says you failed, you failed, period.
In addition to field sobriety tests, you can also refuse to take a field breathalyzer test. Results of these tests are often unreliable and can be tainted in many different ways. You are under no obligation to take this test while in the field.
What You Must Do
Every state will have its own laws, but you will more than likely be required to take some type of chemical test at the police station by a qualified technician. The consensus amongst DUI attorneys, though, is that if given the choice, take the breathalyzer because the results can be challenged much easier by an attorney than those of a blood test.
More than anything, you need to not panic, even if you are drunk behind the wheel. Conduct yourself calmly and make every effort to control your temper and actions. Giving the officer a problem or offering up too much information will only hurt your case. You have rights, know them, use them, and then contact a good DUI attorney to help you fight the charges.
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