This guide is the "nuts and bolts" quick reference for what to do and not to do when pulled over by the police.
Pull over safely and quickly and use a blinker and then your hazard lights. Be polite and show the officer your license and registration.
What NOT to say and NOT to do.
Do NOT answer questions pertaining to the following items:
1. Have you been drinking?
2. What were you drinking?
3. How much have you drank?
3. Where are you coming from?
4. Where are you going?
5. What time did you leave?
6. When did you last eat and what did you eat?
7. What time was your last drink?
These questions should not be answered since the police are trying to pin you down and limit your ability to put on a good defense to any charges. You can tell the officer that you are not answering question without first talking to an attorney.
What NOT to do:
1. Do not do any road side tests that include standing on one leg, walking a line, or letting them examine your eyes. These tests are designed to make you fail and WILL be used against you later. refuse to do them!
2. Do not submit to a portable breath test during the stop. These are not admissible and only allow the police to make further decisions on how to arrest you.
Breath Test or Blood Draw?
If you have refused to answer all of the above types of questions and refused the field sobriety tests, any arrest decision has to come from other sources such as your speech, your attitude, odor of alcohol, etc.
If they still arrest you, they will then request that you submit to a breath or blood test. If you refuse, this triggers a driver's license suspension for refusal. This can later be challenged and, if suspended, an occupational license can be applied for to allow you to drive to work.
Refusing the breath and/or blood test will most likely trigger forcing then to get a warrant for your blood. This creates an even longer delay in getting your blood drawn for analysis. This extra delay can be used to fight your case in court especially if you have refused to answer all of the questions above regarding what you did and drank that night.
The less information you give them and the harder you make it for them to get your blood, the less they have to prosecute you with the more flexibility your defense lawyer has on your case.
Remember, they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were above 0.08 at the time you were driving or that you lost your mental or physical faculties. By not doing the field sobriety tests, they cannot use them to show you lost your physical faculties. By not telling them everything you drank and when you drank, they cannot pinpoint your drinking and extrapolate it to the time of driving.
1. Be polite but refuse to answer the questions about drinking and eating. Tell them you won't answer any question without a lawyer and be firm and stick to it.
2. Refuse all SFST's (standardized field sobriety tests).
3. Do not agree to a portable breath test.
4. You have the right to refuse to give a specimen bu they can get a warrant and most times will.
5. Contact a DWI attorney ASAP once you are released. The first fifteen days is critical.
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