Generally officers must have a reason(probable cause to stop)to stop your vehicle.This reason may be a traffic violation,arrival at a wreck,or even a roadblock(where the vehicle is just in a line of cars to be checked.The officer may give you a traffic ticket for this violation(reason to stop) or he/she may not.
Probable cause to believe that the driver is driving under the influence
Arresting officers may rely on their observations to develop reasons (probable cause) to believe that you are driving under the influence of Alcohol.These observations could be staggered walking.smell of alcoholic beverages,slurred speech, dilated pupils,etc.. The officer can charge you for DUI simply on these observations.
Portable/Preliminary Breath Tests
Officers may ask you to blow into a preliminary /portable breath testing device,which is a small hand held breath tester.Generally speaking this device is not for use as evidence of a specific alcohol reading,but rather it is used to report the presence of alcohol in your system.In Mississippi this devise is voluntary.and no criminal or civil penalty occurs (no separate crime,or civil suspension) for failure to blow into this tester.
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
Officers use field sobriety tests for both probable cause to arrest you for DUI and in some courts evidence of alcohol impaired driving.The first test is called the hgn or eye pen test which consists of moving a pen across your eyes looking for jerking eye movements. The second test is walking a line heel-to-toe, and looking for eight different things to grade.The last is standing on one leg for thirty seconds,and the officer is looking for for things to grade.These tests should be given /and graded in a standard manner. All of these tests are voluntary and no criminal or civil penalty happens if these tests are refused.
Non-Standard Field Tests
Arresting officers often times use non-standard tests for probable cause to arrest for DUI and in some courts as evidence of alcohol impaired driving.These exercises are limited only by the imagination of the arresting officer and include saying ABC's,touching your nose.counting backward,picking up coins from the ground,etc..These exercises are also voluntary and no criminal or civil penalty happens if these tests are refused.
Officers will usually offer you the breath test on a breath test at the law enforcement station on a bigger machine or on that same machine in the field(the breath machine could be in a van or police car) the purpose of this machine is to produce a breath test result to use against you in court as evidence of alcohol intoxication. You will be advised that you have the right to refuse this test.and if you do refuse the test that license suspension will follow.
Questions to ask yourself!
There are three questions to ask yourself when stopped.One Can you say anything to the arresting officer to keep from being arrested? Two Can you do anything for the arresting officer to keep from being arrested? and Three Unless i can help myself by telling the arresting officer anything or doing anything for him/her to keep form being arrested ,WHY WOULD I DO OR SAY ANYTHING!!! Let me put it another way what do you think the arresting officer would do if you did not take either the voluntary portable breath test,the voluntary field sobriety tests,or the voluntary breath test on the intoxilyzer? Yes,he would arrest you ANYWAY!!!
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