A DUI arrest can linger in a person’s permanent record. It is important to understand how to handle the situation when you get pulled over for DUI, but at the same time, you need to go through the things you can’t do. You can, through your actions and words, make things harder for yourself. However, with some smart decisions and by knowing what not to do in such situations, you can save yourself lots of trouble. Most people take offense when they are stopped for DUI, maybe they were not drunk, and that’s why they got offended. However, even if that is the case, keep in mind that the police officer in front of you is simply doing their job.
Don’t lose your cool, be the master of your senses in such a situation. There is no need to be overly defensive – a Portland police officer can only stop if they have a reasonable suspicion that you’re engaged in DUI. Thus if you’re stopped, understand that you’re simply under suspicion, nothing has been decided yet. If you stay cool, cooperate with the police officer, you’ll make things easier for yourself, even if you are drunk. You have rights even if you’re guilty of DUI, but you need to be careful about how you present yourself.
Contact a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible so you can get things sorted out.
#1) Don’t Refuse the Alcotest
The biggest mistake you can make in the event of a DUI suspicion pull-over is to refuse to take the Breathalyzer test. If you’re drunk and you think that you’ll be able to evade the blame or avoid handing over any concrete proof by not taking the test, you are mistaken, sorely.
You’re not charged with anything when the police officer asks you to stop, there is only suspicion, and by refusing to take the alcotest, you simply cement that suspicion even further. Plus, you’ll lose some of your rights plus your driver’s license for non-cooperation.
Drunk or not – take the alcotest, you are obliged to do so.
#2) Don’t Give Consent to Everything
Following the alcotest, the officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests or ask questions about where you’re coming from, where did you get your drinks, and so on. You don’t have to respond at all to such attempts to get you to open up. Be polite though, tell the officer that you wish to not speak until you’ve discussed things with your lawyers.
They can’t search your car without your express permission so don’t give it to them if you feel that this may compromise your case. If they do go through your car and discover evidence without your permission, tell that to your lawyer so that they can try and get the evidence barred from your case.
#3) Don’t Resist Arrest
The officers will arrest you if they have evidence of drunk driving or if you refuse to take the alcotest. At this point, you need to be calm, ask them not to put on handcuffs, tell them that you’ll cooperate however possible.
Resisting arrest is itself an offense, and you will end up making things much worse than they would’ve been otherwise.
#4) Don’t Give a Statement Until You’ve Discussed Things With Your Lawyer
The arresting officers might not ask you any questions at the spot, or even if they do, they’ll start declaring your Miranda rights. These rights are read out loud so that you know what you can say no to given that you are under arrest and being questioned.
Most likely, they’ll take you to the nearest police station and carry out the questioning there. You don’t have to give any statements or answers unless you’ve discussed the whole case, every detail, with your lawyer. Don’t be rude though, just ask them to let you meet your defense attorney.
Your lawyer will assess your situation and tell you what you need to say and how.
Call an Experienced Portland DUI Defense Lawyer
Remember that it is the job of a DUI defense lawyer to be as cooperative with you as possible. In this business, we don’t judge. Of course, we don’t support alcoholism or driving unsafely, but we do understand that even good people can get in trouble sometimes. If that happens, you should be patient, avoid doing the things we mentioned above and steer clear of any trouble. Contact your lawyer as soon as possible because you can’t do this by yourself.
At the Trilogy Law Group, we are committed to helping our clients however possible, and we would be glad to be of assistance.