As soon as the police officer decides to pull you over for drunk driving (DUI/DWI), he starts making observations that will put in a police report. This document WILL have an impact on the outcome of any charges. Therefore, when pulling your car over, use your signal, find a safe place to pull over.
Smile, you're on candid camera
Just about every jurisdiction employs cameras in the police cruisers so expect that all your movement and statements will be recorded.
Have your information nearby
Don't make sudden movements and keep your arms in view of the officer. If at all possible have your license and registration available and ready for the officer's review when he approaches your window.
Know Your Rights
Remember, at this time the officer is normally pulling you over for a standard traffic violation. You are under no obligation to answer any incriminating statements. You may be nervous but how you answer questions may influence the direction of the investigation. If the officer asks you if you've been drinking, or how much-and you're concerned that you might incriminate yourself-simply say, "I'm sorry, officer, but I've always been advised not to answer any questions."
Tests are optional
You are under no legal obligation to perform a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests are one-sided in favor of the officer. They are subjective tests and it is usually an attempt by the officer to gather evidence against you. On a rare occasion, a driver will "pass" the tests and be released and be free to drive home. However, these tests are normally a precursor to your arrest.
If Arrested, should you take the breathalyzer?
In Ohio, you are NOT obligated to take a breathalyzer. However, if you refuse, you face the potential of having your drivers license suspended by the State of Ohio for one year. Normally, you can still acquire driving privileges for school and work in this situation. This is a judgment call. Those who decline the test that are arrested for the first time may be treated differently by the courts than those who have been arrested and refused in the past.
Don't wait. Take action
Contact a qualified DUI/OVI attorney right away to help explain your rights and to help you through this difficult process
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