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Articles » Process » What To Expect If You Are Pulled Over For a DUI

What To Expect If You Are Pulled Over For a DUI

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By StraightDUI Staff on 1/16/2008

There are few things more chilling then the sound of a siren in a police car coming up behind you and signaling you to pull over. In that horrific moment you may not know what to do or what to expect, but you should be prepared as it can be a very intimidating experience. Although more often than not, the person pulled over is guilty of a DWI or DUI, many times innocent people have been convicted of drunk driving, so it’s good to know what to expect as well as your rights. But remember, if a police officer’s siren blares, the first thing you should do is find a safe place to pull over as far to the right of the lane as possible. Do not get out of the car, unless the police officer instructs you to get out. Keep your hands on the steering wheel and do not make any unnecessary comments.

Why Did The Police Officer Pull You Over?

The signs of intoxication vary, so when a police officer pulls you over, he or she was watching for certain behaviors. Usually the officer notices that you were having trouble staying in your lane or you were either speeding or having braking problems. Other times, you might have made an error in judgment, made a very wide turn, drove slower than traffic, drove into oncoming traffic, drifted into other lanes, wove in and out of traffic and made sudden swerves. These are usually good indicators to a police officer that something is amiss. Once out of the car, the officer might also look for physical characteristics such as bloodshot eyes or a flushed face. Sometimes the officer observes poor balance or slurred speech. Possibly, the smell of alcohol is very strong on your breath. Other times the police officer finds that you are behaving in a rather silly manner or simply not understanding questions. These are usually the reasons a police officer pulls over a driver suspected of a DUI.

Once You’ve Been Pulled Over

Once you’ve been pulled over and moved to a safe spot, turn off the engine and roll down your window. If it’s nighttime, you may want to turn on the interior light. Don’t be the first to speak. Let the officer do the talking and above all, do not behave in a hostile manner even if you think you have been unjustly stopped. The officer might insist that you get out of the car, and you should do so if asked. If the officer suspects that you could be dangerous, he might even search your outer clothing to make sure you’re not carrying any weapons. If you disobey an officer, you might quickly find a gun pointing at you, so follow instructions. At this point, the officer will probably ask to see your license and registration. The officer is then going to try to get you to admit wrongdoing by asking you carefully worded questions, but it’s best that you don’t give any answers as these can be used against you in court. The officer is encouraged to conduct sobriety tests as they can contribute to a case. The officer may also ask you to walk a straight line or possibly to recite the alphabet. They may ask you to touch your nose with eyes closed. Some officers hold a pen or small light several inches away from your eyes, at which time you will be asked to follow the object while keeping your head still. The angle of gaze can be an indicator of drunkenness. While breathalyzers, blood tests and urine tests are more accurate, the above-mentioned tests are fairly inaccurate in determining sobriety.

Our Constitutional Rights

From the moment the police officer stops you for a suspected DUI, puts you in the back of the police car and drives you to the police station, he or she must follow proper procedures because if they don’t, the case could be thrown out. As you already know, as citizens we have a constitutional right to remain silent when a policeperson pulls us over, so if you are suspected of driving while intoxicated, you do have the right to refuse to answer any questions. More important, you also have the right to counsel. So, even though the officer wants you to take a breathalyzers or a blood test, you can say that you want to speak to your attorney before doing anything. Once at the police station, it’s best to call an attorney immediately. Although some individuals arrested for drunk driving are released on their own recognizance, others will not be released until they post bail. The person arrested then has 10 days after arrest to request a DMV hearing or they could risk losing their license. If a hearing is not requested within the 10 days, the DMV will begin the process of suspending the driver’s license.

Steps After Arrest

The consequences of being arrested for a DUI vary from state to state. If charged with a DUI, the person arrested is usually released if there have been no other crimes involved. But, many times there are large consequences associated with a DUI such as having the license suspended or revoked, possible jail time and in increase in insurance. It is because of these potential consequences, that it is imperative that a licensed attorney is contacted immediately after a DUI arrest so that a person is quickly advised of their rights. When arrested, a person is emotionally upset and will not know how to handle their case, so having the best possible defense through a good DUI attorney can mean the difference between facing severe consequences versus getting off with less severe penalties.

About the DUI Attorneys at Straight DUI

The DUI lawyers at Straight DUI do everything they can to help you when it comes to DUI. To get you off, keep your record clean and prevent you from losing your license to drive, we start by believing that you shouldn’t have been arrested, so with that uppermost in our minds, we fight for you. When you place yourself in the hands of the knowledgeable DUI attorneys at, you know you will be treated fairly and will receive the best defense possible. We understand how important a good defense is to your case and so we do everything to protect your rights.Call us at 1 (877) 420-6719 and let us help.

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