If you are pulled over for a DUI or DWI, there is no question that it can be a scary and difficult situation. However, you do have certain rights. Knowing what your rights are and what to expect if this situation ever occurs can be beneficial.
It is necessary for an officer to have some type of probable cause in order to pull you over. In most cases, probable cause is demonstrated by erratic driving, such as speeding, swerving or violating certain traffic laws. The police can also question you regarding whether or not you have been drinking at an accident scene, regardless of who was at fault. After you are pulled over, you can expect the following to occur.
You Will be Questioned
The officer is likely going to question you regarding whether you have been drinking, the amount you had to drink and when you had your last drink. The question about your last drink is important if there was an accident that the officer did not see themselves. Unless the officer is able to determine your last drink as being immediately before the accident, it can be difficult to figure out if you were actually drunk while you operated the vehicle.
Field Sobriety Tests
If the officer thinks it is necessary, they may request you perform a field sobriety test. This will determine if there is additional probable cause to determine if you were under the influence of alcohol. Some field sobriety tests that may be done include the Walk and Turn, the One Leg Stand test and the Horizontal Gaze eye test. If you don’t perform well on these tests and the officer suspects you are driving drunk, they may arrest you.
If you are arrested, you are going to be handcuffed and taken to a location to give a sample of your breath to be analyzed. If the reading is .08 or higher, then you are presumed guilty of drinking and driving. If you refuse to submit to the breathalyzer test, your license will be suspended for up to a year – even if you are found not guilty. Even without the breath test, the prosecutor can move forward to use the results of your field sobriety test against you.
Being arrested for drinking and driving is a serious charge. It also comes with significant consequences. If you find yourself in this position, it is best to hire a criminal defense lawyer for help. They can review the facts of your case and help to protect your rights. You should never try to fight a DUI charge on your own, since the laws related to these cases can be quite complex.
If you have been arrested or have been charged with a DUI, be sure to contact an attorney right away. If you have questions, or need more information about what to do after being arrested for a DUI, contact the attorneys at the McDaniel Law Group, PLLC by calling 202-331-0793. Knowing your rights and having a competent attorney on your side to fight for you can help.