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3 Things to Know if Stopped by Police for DUI Suspicion

Law Articles

Not only is it dangerous to you and your vehicle, but driving while under the influence can lead to deadly accidents for others on the road. Due to these risks, police in all states are capable of investigating a driver they feel may be under the influence. If you are speeding, changing lanes erratically, or look suspicious in any way, police can pull you over to check if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, 38 states continuously conduct sobriety checkpoints to keep citizens and roads safe. Because of the various methods of checking for drivers under the influence, it is important to know what to do if you are stopped by the police. Here are a few things you must know when stopped by the police for a DUI suspicion.

You Don't Have to Answer Questions

One of the most surprising things to know about DUI stops and checkpoints is that you are not legally obligated to answer the police officer's questions. Although they do have the right to stop and check you for signs of driving under the influence, you have the right to not answer their questions without an attorney present.

The officer will initially ask you if you have recently taken drugs or had any alcoholic beverages, but you do not have to disclose this information. Avoid telling the police offer about your last location or where you are going. You do not have to tell the office you had a glass of wine or a few beers.

Not answering their questions may increase suspicion, but it is your legal right. Remain friendly and respectful while notifying the police offer you are not comfortable answering their questions without an attorney present.

You Don't Have to Take a Sobriety Test

There is also a misconception about whether you are legally permitted to refuse a sobriety test. Thankfully, you do not have to take a sobriety test, but you should communicate this refusal in a respectful manner to the police.

Many drivers make scenes when asked to take a sobriety test. Using profanity, calling the officer names, showing extreme anger, and even placing your hands on a cop when they ask you to take the test will only make matters worse.

Of course, police officers are also human, so they may become very frustrated when you refuse to take a sobriety test. If they try to use force or threaten you, you can tell them you will take the sobriety test even though you do not consent to the test.

You are also permitted to refuse a chemical test during a DUI stop or checkpoint. Unfortunately, there are penalties associated with refusing this more involved test. Refusal may be used against you if your DUI case goes to court. Consider agreeing to the chemical test, but only if your attorney may be present.

Probably Cause Is Needed to Search Vehicles

Having a police officer search your vehicle during a DUI stop or at a DUI checkpoint may be frightening, but it is important to know the laws behind this act.

If in plain view during a traffic/DUI stop or checkpoint, drugs, alcohol, and any illegal content can be confiscated. However, a police officer cannot search your vehicle unless they have probable cause to do so. Without this probably cause, the officer will need to get a search warrant. Of course, if the officer asks for permission and you give consent, they will have legal authorization to search through your vehicle.

If an officer asks to search the vehicle, you do not have to give them permission. Be sure to remain calm during this process, as well, since any arguments may be used against you if you are found to be driving under the influence.

A possible DUI charge should be taken seriously. With this guide and the help of a DUI attorney, you will be able to navigate a DUI stop or checkpoint in a smart, legal manner.


9 May 2017