What happens if you’re stopped for DUI? You have rights; this is a free country; a police officer must respect your personal liberty – these are all true, but none of them absolves you from your legal obligations. If a Portland police officer has a reasonable suspicion of DUI, they can stop you, and you must cooperate. Your liberties are indeed to be respected, but the legal obligations of a citizen supersede everything else.
You can do things the easy way or the hard way, and we recommend the former. Even if you’re not driving under influence, you still have to cooperate and not get offended, the police officer is just doing their job. And if you’re drunk, you won’t get away with it, even if you refuse to be subjected to the alcotest. It is best to understand how best to handle the situation, the dos and don’ts so that things don’t get out of hand.
Remember, your Portland DUI defense lawyer will be your only friend if you do get in trouble, but you can make things easier for yourself with your actions too, and in this article, we’ll discuss just that. Read to find out what you can do in such a situation:
#1) Cooperate Within Reason
Stay cool when you’re stopped for DUI;, you are only under suspicion, nothing is for sure at this moment. Be polite when you talk to the police, do as they say, all within reason. They’ll most probably ask you to take an alcotest to check your blood alcohol level – whether it is under the legal limit or not.
Even if you are not drunk (but let’s presume that you are), there is no need to get all defensive here, you have not been accused of anything. Of course, there are things that you don’t have to do (and must not do), for instance, you don’t need to answer any incriminating questions, or take field sobriety tests, or give your permission for a car search.
Just cooperate as much as you have to.
PS, you can’t say no to an alcotest, or more appropriately, you should not.
#2) Don’t Ignore Abusive Behavior
Just because we asked you to be cooperative and well behaved, does not mean you have to take everything that the police officer does. If you feel that certain actions or words were hurtful for no reason or crossed a boundary, make your concerns known – tell the arresting officer that they’re violating your rights.
If unnecessary force was involved or you suspect ulterior motives, take note of it and tell your lawyer. All of this will factor in your case when presented before the judge if the officer got access to certain incriminating evidence by violating your rights, you can file a motion to have the evidence dismissed.
#3) You Don’t Have To Say “Yes” To Everything
Your consent is very important in the events leading up to a DUI arrest, and you need to use it wisely. The arresting officer, even if certain that you are drunk, cannot check your vehicle for evidence without your express permission – don’t give it to them.
Plus, you don’t have to take the FSDs unless you feel like doing so. If the officer asks you incriminating questions, silence is a perfectly valid response. Or you can simply say that you wish to speak to a lawyer before you respond to any questions or give statements.
Remember, you don’t have to do everything the police officer asks after being stopped for DUI – ask them to read out your Miranda rights if they haven’t already.
#4) Call Your Lawyer As Soon As You Can
As soon as possible, you need to contact your lawyer. Remember, you don’t have to (and most ideally should not) give any statements before discussing the case with your lawyer. When you’re seated with your lawyer, you’ll have full privacy and be secured by client-attorney confidentiality.
After you’ve discussed the full extent of your case with the defense attorney, they’ll guide you through the rest of the process.
Call the Best DUI Defense Lawyers in Portland
Let us make this clear that we don’t condone alcoholism or think that it is okay to be drunk while driving, but we do understand that it can happen. You may have a bit too much without even knowing so – anyone can lose track of things. However, if you can, avoid getting behind the wheel if you’re not fully conscious. But presuming that you’re in trouble, you can contact us, and no, we don’t judge, we’re here to help.
At the Trilogy Law Group, our DUI defense lawyers are all experienced professionals who can represent you at all stages in your case.
Call us today!