Written by attorney Jason Johnson

What is required and is not required to provide to Police Officers when pulled over for a DUI

As adults, many of us drink alcohol but unfortunately, many times we may find ourselves stopped with lights flashing in our rearview mirror wondering to ourselves did I consume too much. I'm often asked, "If I'm pulled over, what do I do?" You should know that there are certain things that you are required to do and certain things that you are not required to do.

When you're stopped you're required to provide your proper identification, registration for your vehicle, and your insurance. You are not required to give any other information which includes statements on where you were coming from, how much you have had to drink, or other questions the officer asks. Ron White, a famous comedian once said that he understood he had the right to remain silent but he lacked the ability. This is true in a lot of cases with DUI's. Many times there may be deficiencies with the arrest, with probable cause, or with the breath tests. However, because of statements made by the defendant the task of getting a charge dismissed or reduced becomes more difficult. You do not have to provide voluntary information to the police officer. If he continues to ask you questions, you can ask if you are under arrest. The officer may try to have you do voluntary field sobriety tests. These are voluntary and will only be used as a basis for the officer to try to charge you with DUI. It is recommended that you not do these voluntary tests. In the field, he may ask you to do a voluntary breath test. Again, you should ask if you are under arrest and if so I want to speak to my attorney.

Now once you are arrested they will take you down to a station and they will have you do a breath test. At that point, after you are under arrest, it is advisable to actually do the breath test at the Police Station. The reason why is twofold. First, if this is your first offense and you refuse this test the Department of Licensing will suspend your license for a whole year. However, if you blow in the breathalyzer machine and are over the limit, your suspension will only be for 90 days. Second, there is more opportunity to challenge deficiencies if you only actually blow into the data master.

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