Getting pulled over for suspicion of DUI is considered to be one of the most serious crimes. This is because you not only endanger your life, but also that of other innocent road users. However, if you have been pulled over, there are a number of things that you need to know.
This is especially important when it comes to the legal aspects so that you can know your rights and what is expected of you to facilitate the same. What should you do if you have been pulled over for suspicion of DUI?
So What Should I Do?
If you have been pulled over, the first thing to remember is that the criminal justice system works under the presumption that you are innocent unless you have been proved otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction. Do not resist pulling over as this might lead to unnecessary charges being preferred against you.
What to Remember
If you have been pulled over or not, there are three golden rules that you need to remember at all times. The first rule is that you do not have to let the police officer access you vehicle. If you do not want to consent to any searches, then you have absolutely every right to request that they get a warrant prior to any search.
The next important thing to know is that you do not have to answer any questions without your lawyer present. (Except, name, address, etc.) You do not have to do the field sobriety tests, like walking the line and touching your nose.
Once you request that your attorney be present for questioning, you should request the officer for permission to leave. Be keen to certify that the person who has pulled you over is indeed from the relevant authorities. This can be established by checking the badge number that is usually on the front shirt of the officer.
For safety purposes, it is advisable that you have a recording device to cover the entire process. This should include the time when you have been pulled over and the steps that have been taken since the officer asked you to roll down your window. This should however be done in a cautious and careful manner, preferably after notifying the officer that the events are being recorded.
How DUI Tests Work
In most of the cases, if you have been pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol of any intoxicating substances, a number of tests have to be conducted in order to establish whether you exceed the legally prescribed limit. You might be required to provide a sample of your saliva or blood in order for this to be established.
Insist on having this done in a safe and secure manner that does not expose you to any infections or diseases. This should preferably be done in the presence of another officer. In Arizona, if you do not give a blood, breath or urine sample you automatically lose your driver’s license for one year. Law enforcement will get a warrant and get the sample anyway. Best practice is to give a blood, breath or urine sample when asked.
If the law enforcement officer is male and you are of the opposite sex, then you can demand that the tests be done by an officer of the same sex. This not only limits the chances of you being violated, but also provides you with the best chance of obtaining justice.
The Mistakes to Avoid
If you have been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, some of the things to avoid include:
Do not resist. Comply with the law enforcement officer and pull over at a safe location where you do not obstruct other road users and put on the hazard lights. Turn off the engine and wait for the officer.
Do not panic. Y ou have nothing to be afraid of. The law is there principally to ensure that your rights are well protected. It is important to note that whatever your situation, there is a legal mechanism in place to protect your interests.
Finally, if you need the services of a lawyer, make sure that you contact a professional and competent one. The lawyer will be essential in ensuring that your rights are not violated in any manner and that you stand the best chance of finding justice. Any questions or concerns that you might have will be clarified by the lawyer.