Interaction with Police on a DUI Traffic Stop for Ohio
Short guide on proper interaction with law enforcement on a traffic stop where you are suspected of DUI.
Initial InteractionWhen you are initially stopped by law enforcement, the most important rule is to be polite but firm. Just because you have been stopped by the police doesn't mean that you must forfeit all of your rights.
1. When asked for your identification and insurance provide this documentation without complaint.
2. Politely ask the reason for the stop. Do not argue, you will not win.
3. When asked if you have been drinking, do not admit to consuming alcoholic beverages, this is just evidence against you. If you have not been drinking then stand firm and tell them you have not.
4. You will probably be asked to exit the vehicle, comply with this request as you do not want to appear as though you are resisting.
5. Ask if you are free to go.
Field Sobriety Tests1. First and foremost, if you have been drinking, do not perform the field sobriety tests. You ARE NOT required to perform these tests. They are inaccurate and there are many factors which can cause you to not perform well on this test.
2. If you chose to perform the tests, make sure that you are actually able to do so.
3. If you have knee or eye problems make sure the officer knows.
4. The eyes do not lie. This is the test where most officers will make their determination. You cannot practice or fake the HGN.
5. If you do the walk and turn, make sure that it is on a flat and dry surface. Ask to use a line if there is one present. Many officers will ask you to walk and imaginary line. This is not fair and is not accurate. Make sure it is not windy out and not too cold so that you can fairly perform this test.
6. One leg stand is hard: When I was a police officer I struggled to perform this test sober. It is not in your best interest to perform this test.
7. Do not take a portable breath test. While this is not admissible in court, it is numerical evidence that you have been drinking.
8.If you are stone sober and HAVE NOT had anything to drink, take the PBT and move on. You are not drunk.
9. Admit nothing! You are not required to incriminate yourself.
Post ArrestIf you have been drinking and you refuse the tests, you might be arrested. That is just the reality.
Before Taking the Breath Test:
1. Ask to speak to your attorney
2. Ask to speak to your attorney in private
3. Be honest with your lawyer as to how much you have had to drink, they will be able to guide you as to whether or not you should take the test.
4. IF you have drank a substantial amount, it is my opinion you should refuse and hire a criminal defense attorney. This is an on the spot decision and I cannot guide you as to what you should do from here.
TIPS1. Cooperate and DO NOT RESIST
2. Admit nothing!
3. Politely refuse any field sobriety tests.
4. If you do the tests, make sure it is dry out, flat surface, and all factors are in your favor.
5. Make sure that the officers front overhead lights are not on so as to not cause rotational nystagmus
6. NEVER EVER consent to a search of your vehicle! They will search if they have probable cause.
7. Ask if you are free to go prior to exiting the vehicle.
8. Contact a trained Criminal Defense Attorney right away. If you can during the stop better!