If you ever catch yourself being pulled over by the police for Driving under the Influence (DUI), it is important to know the proper protocol for this type of arrest and the things that you should do to protect yourself and your rights. Guilty or not, it will help to be in the know of what to expect during a DUI arrest so that you can behave properly and avoid any additional charges and hassle.
Taking the Fifth
Once you get pulled over to the side of the road, the police will begin to ask you questions if you have been drinking and how much. These questions can be very incriminating and this information can be used against you in court while your case is being tried. Even if the police did not read you your rights, you can still choose to keep silent and exercise your rights in taking the 5th amendment. You of course would have to provide your license and registration to the arresting officer, but other than that, they cannot force you to answer any questions and you may freely decline to answer these questions until after you have spoken to your attorney.
Most people don’t know that sobriety tests are voluntary and the police will not tell you that you have the option not to participate. Sobriety tests are performed to give police officers a clue if you are intoxicated or not. It will test your motor skills, focus and attention, as well your ability to retain information that is compromised when you have taken in a considerable amount of alcohol or drugs. “Sobriety tests are highly subjective and most US states do not require them to be done,” says R.J. Manuelian a Los Angeles, California criminal attorney, “so it is okay to politely decline and reiterate that you believe they are subjective and is not an accurate measure of your intoxication,” he continues.
If you are under probation for a previous DUI offense or if they arrest you because they have probable cause, then you are subject to chemical tests to prove your alcohol or drug intoxication. You can either submit to a breathalizer or a blood test. Between the 2, a breathalizer test has a larger margin of error and can easily be contested in court. It cannot be retested and that can work in your favor. If you choose to take a blood test, you have the right to have this retested in an independent facility to challenge the accuracy of the results.
Do not refuse a chemical test as they can increase your punishment by refusing. “Laws vary state to state, but refusal to submit to a blood test after being arrested can mean suspension of your license by your local DMV,” states Manuelian. Even if you refuse, they can still force you to submit to these chemical tests as this is required if they do find probable cause to arrest you for DUI.