One mistake shouldn’t rule the rest of your life. But that’s exactly what can happen if you’re convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence (OWI). Having an OWI on your record can make it difficult to find employment, housing, or affordable auto insurance. A driver’s license suspension can also last up to 6 months or even several years!
Here’s what you should do if you’re pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving.
No one wants to see flashing police lights in their rearview mirror. Yet it’s important that you stay calm.
Signal and pull over to the shoulder so the officer knows you saw them. Next, you’ll want to put your car in park, turn off the engine, and roll down the driver and passenger-side windows. That way, the police officer will be able to approach your vehicle from either side.
Traffic stops are dangerous for police officers. Keep your hands on the steering wheel so they’re visible to the officer. That will put them at ease and help you make a good first impression. It also helps to address the police officer as Sir or Ma’am so you come off as respectful and polite.
The officer will ask for your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration.
Talk as Little as Possible
A police officer may try to act like your friend, asking casual questions to see if you’ll slip up. By law, you only have to provide the police officer with your name if they ask. Any other questions you can refuse to answer. For example, the police officer may ask if you’ve been drinking or how much you’ve had to drink.
It’s not in your best interest to answer questions. The more you talk, the more the police officer can document alcohol on your breath or slurred speech. The police are also able to use anything you say against you in a court of law. Instead, politely say that you don’t wish to answer any questions.
Do not raise your voice or lie to the police officer. This will not help your DUI case.
Don’t Take Field Sobriety Tests
You have the right to refuse a field sobriety test. While it may feel like you’re making a mistake, refusing to take a field sobriety test may be the best thing for you to do.
It’s not uncommon for police officers to administer non-standardized tests. For example, a police officer may ask you to recite the alphabet backward.
The problem with non-standardized tests is that they aren’t reliable. (How many of the people you know can recite the alphabet backward past “Q” even when sober?) Despite this, police will still enter field sobriety tests as evidence against you.
Our drunk driving attorneys do everything in their power to protect your rights. This may mean trying to get the tests thrown out as evidence. Our DUI attorneys will check if the police officer had the correct training to conduct the test. They’ll also question the integrity of non-standardized field sobriety tests. Our drunk driving lawyers look out for you by fighting for the best outcome.
Take the Breathalyzer Test
Florida has the “Implied Consent Law.” This means Florida drivers must take a chemical test if arrested for drunk driving. Police officers often use the breathalyzer test to determine blood alcohol content (BAC). Yet, they may ask for a urine test in some circumstances. If you don’t comply, the court will suspend your driver’s license for one year. You’ll also receive 6 points to your driver record.
Our DUI attorneys recommend you take the chemical test. That way, you won’t have to fight to get your driver’s license reinstated. We understand that you depend on your driver’s license to drive to work, pick the kids up from daycare, and more. For this reason, our drunk driving attorneys can help you every step of the way so you don’t make a costly mistake.
Hire One of Our DUI Lawyers
If arrested, you have the right to a phone call and legal representation. Use your phone call to hire Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano P.A. Our DUI attorneys are ready to fight aggressively for your rights. This means you’ll have access to fast legal help when you need it most.
Before you go, check out our blog post on what to do if your teenager is arrested.
Schedule a Legal Consultation
Have questions about your rights after getting a DUI? Our Florida DUI lawyers are proud to represent clients near Cape Coral, Naples, and Fort Myers. To request a legal consultation, call Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. at (800) 283-7442.
This blog post has been updated.