The 3 Golden Rules When Pulled Over for a DUI
No one should drive while intoxicated. With that being said, if you happen to get behind the wheel of a car after having consumed alcohol or a narcotic, these are the 3 Golden Rules that must be followed to ensure that your attorney can beat the case and preserve your driver's license.
Golden Rule #1 - Do Not Submit to Field Sobriety Testing (FST's)Upon being pulled over by the police, the officer will approach your vehicle and ask for your driver's license and insurance. If the officer suspects that you are intoxicated, he will begin his DUI investigation. A DUI investigation consists of the officer's physical observations of the driver (such as bloodshot eyes, glassy eyes, slurred speech, odor of alcohol), any observations of poor driving, the driver's performance during Field Sobriety Testing (FST), and the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC).
Therefore, the goal of any intoxicated driver is to give the officer the least amount of evidence. Which brings us to Golden Rule #1: Do not submit to FST's.
At some point in the DUI investigation, usually in the very beginning, the officer will ASK if you are willing to submit to FST's. The officer will often coach his request with an assurance such as, "I am simply making sure that you are fit to drive. If you perform these tests well, I will know that you are safe to drive and will let you continue on your way." Do not fall for such tricks. No matter how well you perform the FST's the officer will most likely arrest you. It is very rare that an officer will be honest and release the driver after the performance of FST's. By the time the officer asks if you are willing to perform FST's, in my experience, the officer has already determined that he is going to arrest you.
Therefore, there is ZERO benefit in performing the FST's. If you perform poorly because you are intoxicated or because you are wearing high heels or because you have poor coordination, the officer is going to use your performance during the FST's to prove you were intoxicated at trial. If you perform well, the officer is still going to arrest and highlight any mistake you make or simply lie and report that performed poorly. It does not matter if the FST's are recorded by his bodycam or dashboard camera. The officer is going to write you performed poorly in his report, arrest you and charge you with DUI.
As such, upon an officer requesting you to submit to FST's, always say NO. Say it politely, say it rudely, yell it, whisper it, sing it, I don't care. Just make sure you say no. Will you be arrested because you refused to submit to his FST's? Probably. But again, you were always going to be arrested. By saying no, you have significantly limited the officer's ability to obtain evidence and build a case against you. As a result, your attorney's odds of beating your DUI at trial has increased ten-fold.
Golden Rule #2 - Do Not Submit to a Breathalyzer TestAfter you refused his FST's, the officer will request that you submit a breath sample to his portable breathalyzer test. Upon being asked to submit to the portable breath test, you must reply with the following: NO. The officer cannot force you to take his breath test, just as he cannot force you to submit to his FST's.
The only scenario in which it may be advisable to submit to a portable breath test is in the event that you consumed no alcohol. With that being said, I still advise you to deny the breath test because the machines do not always work properly and it may yield a false reading.
After denying the FST's and the portable breath test, the officer has gathered little to no evidence for his DUI investigation. As such, there is a small chance he will terminate his investigation and allow you to drive away. However, the odds are slim as nearly every DUI investigation ends in an arrest no matter the amount of evidence.
Therefore, after you have denied the FST's and Portable breath test you will be placed under arrest and transported to the police station. Upon your arrival to the police station, the Officer is going to ask you to submit to a second breathalyzer test. The response to this request is the same as the others: NO.
Again, I do not care if you didn't consume alcohol. It does not matter at this point. Look around, you are in a police station in handcuffs. If you blow .000, the Officer will just charge you with driving under the influence of unknown drugs. You are not getting out of this jam by cooperating. This should be clear at this point.
Golden Rule #3 - Do Not Provide a StatementAfter you have refused the FST's and the breathalyzer tests, the officer will ask if you are willing to provide a statement. The officer is going to want to know where you are coming from, where you were going, did you drink, did you consume drugs, etc. Simply tell the officer no upon him asking whether you are willing to answer those questions. Additionally, ask to call your lawyer. At that point, all questioning should cease.
Congrats!If you followed the above advice, your lawyer will most likely be able to rescind any suspension of your driver's license and beat any DUI charges at trial. Unless you urinated your pants, crashed your vehicle, passed out or did some other egregious behavior, the Prosecution simply will not have enough evidence to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
No matter how nice you believe the cop to be, no matter how sober you believe yourself to be, no matter how much that voice in your head is telling you to comply with the officer's request, you must follow this advice: No tests, no blow, no statement.