Being stopped for drunk driving requires staying calm in a stressful situation. There are important things you should do to protect your rights when you police stop you for a suspected DUI.
The most certain way to avoid these stops is by not driving after any drinking. Drinking while impaired or even buzzed is dangerous. DUI convictions has serious consequences such as imprisonment, loss of license, legal and other expenses and higher insurance premiums.
Erratic or suspicious driving provide grounds for a police stop. Remember that the police are observing everything you do and are trying to obtain evidence to prosecute you.
First, pull over in a safe place and turn off the ignition. Keep your hands visible on the steering wheel. Do not try to hide any object or make any other suspicious movements.
Arguing or resisting police only increase the odds of an arrest. Avoid the nervous temptation to talk too much or being complimentary.
You must provide your name, driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. But you do not have to answer questions about the amount you drank, where you were, what you did or anything else.
Police may seek to conduct a field sobriety test comprised of physical tasks such as walking a straight line or touching your hand to nose. These tests are subjective and faulty because a driver may be nervous or uncoordinated. A motorist may refuse to undergo these field sobriety tests.
However, Alabama and Mississippi have implied consent laws. In Alabama, a motorist may have their license revoked by refusing a breathalyzer, urine or blood test. Mississippi’s law allows refusal of these tests but motorists may face more severe penalties if they are found guilty. If you choose to undergo these tests, which poses the risk of conviction, ask for their administration at the police station.
After you are released, make notes about what happened. This includes what and the amount you drank, when and where you were stopped, what you did and where you were before driving, what the officer said and how you were treated, how you complied with the officer’s instructions, when and where you took any tests and, if you were arrested, whether the police read your Miranda rights.
An attorney can help protect your rights. They can provide you options to fight or reduce the impact of these charges.