5 Most Frequently Asked “What if…” Questions about DUIs
It is 2 AM and you are stopped on the side of the road with blue and red flashing lights in your rearview mirror. The fear sets in and you are beginning to panic. When the officer approaches, be cooperative and provide them, with your license and registration. You ARE required to present your driver’s license and vehicle registration to the officer. Your head is flooded with questions and your heart is racing, try your best to remain calm. A lot easier said than done... however, by reading this article, you will be armed with the facts and information you need in order to react and respond in the most appropriate and lawful way during a DUI traffic stop while protecting your rights.
WHAT IF the officer says they pulled me over for “suspected DUI” and asks me if I have had anything to drink, or taken any drugs?
At a traffic stop, the officer can ask you questions and is not required to read you your Miranda warning (You have the absolute right to remain silent... we all know the basic words from TV). The likelihood is if the officer is asking the question, they suspect you are driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. (i.e. from observing the way you were driving, the odor of an alcoholic beverage, or the odor of marijuana, etc.) The officer can ask the questions but remember you are NOT required to answer their questions.
WHAT IF the officer tells me to get out of my car?
Be cooperative and exit the car. Legally an officer has the right to order you, the driver out of your vehicle. Step slowly out of your vehicle and step out of the roadway.
WHAT IF the officer asks me to perform field sobriety tests aka “the roadside dance”? Should I do the tests?
The best answer I can give you is… IT DEPENDS. It depends on if you have been drinking, if you have been smoking marijuana, if you have been taking Molly, or if you have been drinking alcohol with your prescription medication.
Things that you need to ask yourself: Have I been drinking? Have I been doing drugs (and drugs can be prescription OR street drugs)? Do I feel “buzzed”? (If you feel a buzz, that means you are most likely legally drunk/intoxicated.)
If you answered YES to any of these questions, it may be better for you to politely decline from performing the tests. You are NOT required to and cannot be made to perform field sobriety tests.
When you decline to perform the field sobriety tests be prepared that the officer will likely say, “If you refuse to do these tests, I’m going to arrest you.” Do not let the threat of being arrested and taken into custody sway your decision of whether to complete the “roadside dance.”
WHAT IF I am arrested for DUI, should I take the breath test?
The best answer I can give you is… IT DEPENDS. You have the right to call and consult with an attorney prior to making your decision on whether to take the breath test. This does not mean that the officer must let you look in the phone book or complete a web search for “DUI attorney near me.” It means that you have the right to call a specific attorney and consult with the attorney.
The results of the breath test will be used as evidence against you when the case goes before a judge. As well, there are varying collateral consequences for submitting to the breath test with certain results OR refusing to submit to the breath test. Speak with an experienced DUI attorney prior to electing or refusing to submit to the breath test.
WHAT IF I have been charged with DUI/DWI?
Meet with an experienced criminal defense/DUI attorney as soon as possible. An experienced DUI attorney can help to guide you through the judicial system as well as represent you before the Office of Administrative Hearings for any license suspension that may and likely will arise from you being charged with DUI/DWI.
If you or a loved one are facing DUI/DWI charges or any criminal charges, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney, call Craig M. Kadish & Associates today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you through the judicial process.