Throughout the United States and Canada, police are cracking down on drunk drivers in ways they haven’t before. In some areas this may include police pulling people over for a variety of “suspicious” reasons, with the goal being to force drivers into field sobriety tests. A lot of theories abound about why this is, from stating that police need to make
You may not always have to contact a DUI lawyer, but it’s good to know they’re there when you need them. To that end, lawyers in the area have a few great tips that people can use when they get pulled over in a situation like this. You might be able to avoid a lot of trouble if you follow these tips.
5 Tips to Implement for a Sobriety Test
1: Do Not Provide a Reason
The first tip is the simplest, common sense tip for any situation involving the police. Yes, they aim to protect and serve, but numerous police abuses happen all the time, and the last thing you need to do is give them a reason. If you’ve been drinking beyond the legal limit and are impaired, please do not get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Not only are you risking serious legal troubles, but you’re also risking your life, along with the lives of others on the road. Nothing is worth that, especially when a few bucks will get you a ride home where you can relax as a passenger. As many lawyers may say, “Don’t give them an in.”
2: Comply, If Only for the Record
Comply with the initial requests. We don’t mean the sobriety testing, which we’ll get to in a minute. We mean when the officer(s) makes the initial commands to shut the vehicle off, roll down the window, and provide your license or whatever else you’re legally obligated to provide. Do not make a fuss by screaming that you’re a “sovereign citizen” and trying to protest the stop. It’s not an ideal situation, but once you’re pulled over, you’re pulled over. They won’t drive away just because you’re belligerent. More police will show up. So do the right thing and initially comply.
3: You Can Refuse Sobriety Tests
Police cannot force you to do any of their three basic field sobriety tests: The walk & turn, the breathalyzer, or the blood test. The reason they want to give you these tests is so they can prove in court that you were impaired. Bereft these tests, there can be no proof of impairment. Now, you may be arrested and charged with crimes of a more minor nature, but they cannot legally charge you for DUI unless they have solid proof that you’re over the limit, as their opinions will not hold up in court. Whatever you end up charged with, a DUI lawyer can help, but you have the right to refuse a sobriety field test.
4: Take Your Time
Anger can make anyone act hastily, along with confusion. When pulled over, especially if you haven’t been drinking, it can definitely cause a lot of anger and confusion. Do not make rash decisions. You may be thinking, “I’ve only had a glass of wine; I’ll pass the breathalyzer easily!” But they’re about as reliable as polygraphs and can easily get you charged even if you’re not impaired. So the goal here is to take your time, think things through, and make calm rational decisions.
5: Mention Your Lawyer
If you do manage to get arrested, you have a right to a lawyer. Let it be known that you demand a lawyer and will not be answering any questions or speaking to anyone, about anything, without an attorney present. You never know what sort of story you may end up locked into. There are quite a few instances where police love pinning other people’s crimes, like hit-and-runs, on others.
It may be frustrating, but comply with the police to the legal limit, then stand your ground and assert your rights. Though remember to do so with a cool head, and always be ready to contact a qualified attorney.