Being stopped for suspicion of DUI by a law enforcement official can be stressful. However, knowing your rights, what will occur and what your options are during these stops can be pivotal to helping you make the right moves – and to start protecting yourself ASAP if you end up being arrested for a DUI.
In light of the upcoming Labor Day weekend, now is good time to clarify what you should know about DUI stops. Cops will be out in droves over the next week – and through the end of Labor Day – so make sure you are informed now. It could pay off in a big way later if you are ever officially charged with drunk driving.
DUI Stops: Here’s What You Need to Know
Fact 1 – You don’t have to submit to field sobriety testing.
This is a little known fact among motorists, and cops won’t tell this to you when they are evaluating your sobriety (or alleged impairment) during a DUI stop.
However, you should know that you have the absolute right to refuse field sobriety testing. What’s more is that your refusal won’t result in any automatic penalties. So, if you may not “pass” the test, don’t take it. Failing a field sobriety test can only give cops and prosecutors more potential evidence against you later if you are charged with a DUI.
Fact 2 – Refusing BAC testing comes with automatic penalties.
In contrast to the above fact, refusing blood alcohol testing (in the form of a breath or blood test) WILL come with automatic penalties. This is because implied consent laws dictate that any driver who is arrested for DUI implicit consents to chemical testing to establish his or her BAC at the time of the arrest.
So, drivers who refuse this testing typically face an automatic driver’s license suspension. Additionally:
- The fact that BAC testing was refused can be used against drivers to try to prove intoxication – This is a unique facet of DUI cases, as refusal to provide possibly incriminating evidence against yourself in any other criminal case cannot typically be used against people to try to establish guilt.
- If the person is convicted of a DUI, some of the resulting penalties can be harsher due to the refusal during the DUI stop.
Fact 3 – Cops often make mistakes during DUI stops.
This is incredibly important to remember if you are stopped by a traffic officer because the mistakes that cops may make can end up helping motorists’ defense cases later if they are charged with a DUI. Some examples of these mistakes can include (but are by no means limited to):
- Pulling drivers over without any probable cause to do so
- Failing to wait 20 minutes after stopping the driver before administering breath tests
- Using the wrong or uncalibrated breathalyzer devices.
So, do your best to stay calm during a DUI stop and let the cops (rather than yourself) make the mistakes. Getting upset or angry will not help you – or a future DUI case if you end up getting arrested.
St Louis DUI Lawyers at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law
If you have been arrested for or charged with DUI in Missouri or Illinois, contact the St Louis DUI lawyers at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law. We have a long-standing commitment to serving our clients, and we are experienced at aggressively defending our clients’ rights in any legal setting.
To learn more about how we can help you, attend a free, no obligations initial consult with us. You can set up this meeting by calling our firm at 573-333-3333 for our Missouri office or at 618-888-8888 for our Illinois office. You can also email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen.