Most Common DUI Question Answered:
What Do I Do If I Am Pulled Over?
The moment you see those blue lights flashing in the mirror, your heart skips a beat and you begin to have sweaty palms. Your mind starts to race and you ask yourself – what do I do now? Knowledge is power. If you remember these simple facts you will be in the best legal position should you be arrested for DUI.
Don’t Drink and Drive.
If you are like millions of Americans and do frequent restaurants, bars, nightclubs, sporting events or anywhere that legally serves alcohol, do not drink until your “normal faculties are impaired”, or you have a “Blood Alcohol Level” (BAC) of .08 or above if you’re an adult. It is perfectly legal to drink and drive, just not beyond the limits just described.
The Police are Gathering Evidence To Be Used Against You.
As citizens, we want the police to keep our streets safe and conduct criminal investigations of motorists when appropriate. If you are pulled over after drinking alcoholic beverages, the police officer may very well begin to conduct a criminal investigation to determine if you are impaired. An investigation by its very nature means the officer is gathering evidence from the moment he has contact with you in your vehicle. The “evidence gathering” probably will have already started when your vehicle was first observed. When the officer makes contact with you at your vehicle, the next few minutes are the crux of the investigation and evidence gathering.
Do not provide more evidence.
The moment the officer is at your window she may smell the “odor” of alcohol, observe bloodshot eyes and detect “slurred“ speech. These are typical subjective observations in every Probable Cause arrest report. You cannot do anything about that at that moment. But you can refuse to answer questions on where you are coming from and if you had anything to drink. When you are requested to exit the vehicle, you must obey the lawful command of the officer. However, when you are asked if you will perform some roadside tests, you have the right to politely decline the gracious invitation. As a general rule, if you have had more then two alcohol beverages, I recommend to my clients to decline roadside sobriety tests.
In my experience, roadside tests can be difficult even for people who have not been drinking. Furthermore, the results of such tests can be very subjective and are not always videotaped or videotaped in a clear and consistent perspective.
Such roadside tests are the perfect tool for law enforcement to gather evidence that may be used against you if you are arrested. Now a contrarian argument would be that by not taking the roadside tests, the officer cannot determine if you are not impaired. Furthermore, not taking the roadside tests will almost assuredly get you arrested. Both are true. However, if you had more then two drinks, you are probably going to be arrested anyway and by taking the tests you have given a trove of new information and evidence to the arresting officer.
Ask to speak to your lawyer and politely cooperate in your arrest. At a roadside stop you are not entitled to a lawyer until after you have been arrested. Politely request a lawyer anyway prior to your arrest, as videotape may be rolling for jury consumption at a future trial.
Do not take a Breathalyzer.
In my experience, a pre-arrest Breathalyzer will never be offered at the scene of the stop, so do not even think about it. Do not converse with the officer on the way to the police station. At the station, you will be read “Implied Consent” warnings, advising you of a license suspension if you do not take a breath test. Do not provide more evidence against you if you had more then two alcoholic beverages. This “two drink” maximum is debatable on a scientific level but conservatively I err on the side of caution.
Do not take the breath test and provide further evidence of impairment. A license suspension due to a refusal to take the test can be alleviated with a “work permit” at a later date. A breath reading over a .08 can be easily reached with a minimum of alcohol and will further add to the evidence pile being amassed against you by a good police investigator.
What Are Some Defenses to DUI?
By making a conscious decision to limit the evidence being gathered at the scene of a traffic stop that may quickly turn into a DUI investigation, you will be helping any experienced Criminal Defense Trial lawyer who represents you in any subsequent DUI arrest and prosecution.
Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney
Kenneth Padowitz Provides a strategic criminal defense for those accused of DUI. If you have been arrested or charged with DUI, consult with an experienced and aggressive criminal defense trial lawyer. Kenneth Padowitz has a proven track record of effective representation in countless DUI cases and trials throughout the U.S. and South Florida, including: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Weston, Tamarac, Parkland, and Boca Raton. A criminal record, even for a driving offense such as DUI, can be a tremendous burden on any individual. Contact our aggressive DUI attorney to discuss this important matter.Every case is defensible.