Must the police advise me of my Miranda warnings if I am pulled over on suspicion of DWI/DUI?
The answer to the above question depends upon a number of factors. Miranda warnings are required before the police may conduct a "custodial interrogation." In its simplest form, custodial interrogation occurs when the police question someone who is under arrest. Consider the following scenarios.
Are the police permitted to ask me questions on the roadside immediately after I am pulled over?The United States Supreme Court has held that police need not provide a motorist pulled over on the side of the road with Miranda warnings before asking the brief questions (exposed to the public view) which are part of motor vehicle detentions. For example, it is permissible for a police officer to make a roadside stop, briefly detain a motorist and inquire, without giving Miranda warnings, whether the motorist has consumed alcohol. The police may also request required driving credentials, ask where you are heading or where you have been and/or inquire as to the well being of the driver and/or the passengers. A driver pulled over on the side of the roadway is not considered to be under arrest or "in custody" for the purpose of providing Miranda warnings.
If I am arrested for DUI/DWI, are the police required to advise me of my Miranda rights before asking me questions?Yes. Once the police arrest you for DWI/DUI they may not ask you questions before advising you of your Miranda rights. You are therefore allowed to refuse to answer questions at all, consult with a lawyer and/or not answer questions without consulting a lawyer or having a lawyer present. You should never waive your Miranda rights. Once the police advise you of your rights it is their intention to obtain information from you which they can and will use against you in the prosecution to come. Do not help them convict you.
Can I refuse to submit to a chemical breath test on the grounds that I wish to remain silent and consult with a lawyer?No. If you are arrested for DWI/DUI you will be informed that you must submit to a chemical breath test and that your right to remain silent and right to consult with a lawyer do not apply in such a circumstances. Since the taking of a chemical breath sample is not "testimony", it is not interrogation. Thus the right to remain silent does not apply. Moreover, there is no right to counsel because there is no right to silence that needs to be protected by counsel. This can all be very overwhelming and confusing when in a police station accused of DWI/DUI but the simplest thing to remember is that you must submit to a chemical breath test. Failure to do so may result in additional charges, additional loss of license, additional fines and other additional penalties.