There are a few essential things you need to know when you are pulled over by the police on a suspected DUI.
Are you Asking me or are you Telling me?
Upon being pulled over police will undoubtedly ask you questions in the hopes you will incriminate yourself. Ask them this, "Officer, are you ASKING me or are you TELLING me to answer your questions?" Remember you have the right to remain silent, thus the answer by the officer must be, "I'm ASKING you to answer my questions." You do not HAVE to tell them anything. Politely say, "With all due respect, then I choosing NOT to answer your questions and am invoking my right to remain silent."
Just say NO to PBT and FST
Preliminary Breath Tests (PBT) and Field Sobriety Tests are VOLUNTARY. Not surprisingly police will not inform you of this. If you fail either the PBT and/or the FST you will likely be charged with DUI. Here's the kicker; even if you pass both PBT and FST with flying colors, police can still file charges against you for DUI! Thus, do not attempt these tests.
Just say YES to Chemical Tests
The worst thing that you can do is refuse to submit to a chemical test. Chemical tests are not PBTs. There are two types of chemical tests, a blood draw at a hospital or a breath test utilizing a breathalyzer machine, likely performed at the police station. In Pennsylvania, if you refuse to do either test offered, you will lose your license for an additional one year on top of the penalties for the DUI.
You're not talking yourself out of this one
This is an extension of the first suggestion. If police have made the decision to charge you with DUI you are not going to change their mind with your silver tongue. People often worsen their situation by trying to talk their way out of a DUI (or any charge for that matter), or even worse, arguing with police. What's done is done. You must pick your battles, and now is not the time to fight. Although it may be painful, remain polite, courteous, and friendly with police. You'd be surprised how far being cooperative goes. You will be dealing with this officer at the preliminary hearing and further on down the road of your case. You want him or her to have a reason to negotiate with you.
Hire an DUI lawyer
You should NOT go at this alone. An experienced DUI attorney will be able to help you avoid potential pitfalls and missteps along the way. Make sure your attorney knows the law at that you and s/he are a good fit. Good luck!
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