When drivers are stopped for suspicion of DUI, what they do and how they interact with police can be crucial, particularly if they are later officially charged with drunk driving. Among the various reasons that these interactions with law enforcement officials are so critical is that they can be used as probable cause for police to conduct searches and they may even be used against you later by prosecutors trying to secure a DUI conviction against you.
Here and in a few upcoming installments to this blog, we will highlight the six most common mistakes people generally make when they are stopped for DUI and what you can do to avoid making these mistakes in order to protect your rights. If you have recently been charged with drunk driving and need help mounting a strong defense, don’t hesitate to contact the trusted St. Louis DUI defense attorneys at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law.
The first two common mistakes that drivers make during DUI stops are:
- Admitting to having consumed alcohol – One of the first things that police ask motorists when they are stopping them for suspicion of drunk driving is whether they have had any alcohol to drink prior to getting behind the wheel. While you never want to lie to police, you also do NOT want to admit to having consumed alcohol before driving even if you have. In such cases, it’s best to refrain from answering this question by simply stating, “I do not want to answer that” or, more simply, “no comment.”It’s important for you to know that, when it comes to answering cops’ questions, you are only legally required to disclose your full legal name. Aside from that, you can refrain from answering their questions (and you should if the answers you may have could be used against you later in court).
- Submitting to field sobriety testing when they know they likely won’t pass – Just as you have the right to refuse to answer certain questions, you also have the right to refuse to submit to field sobriety testing. In fact, what few drivers know is that this right of refusal is NOT associated with any automatic penalties; in other words, drivers can refuse to submit to field sobriety testing, and they won’t automatically be penalized for doing so.Instead, they will likely be asked by cops to submit to blood alcohol testing (and refusing to submit to this can result in an automatic one-year driver’s license suspension).
By refusing to submit to field sobriety testing when there may be even a chance of failing, you can avoid giving police and prosecutors more potential evidence against if you are later charged with DUI (as failing field sobriety testing can be used to try to prove you were drunk driving).
Don’t miss the upcoming second part of this blog for some more info about how you can protect yourself during a DUI stop or arrest by avoiding some commonly made mistakes.
St. Louis DUI Defense Lawyers at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law
Have you or a loved one been arrested for or charged with DUI? If so, contact the St. Louis DUI defense lawyers at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law.
Since 1993, our lawyers have been successfully defending our clients against DUI charges both inside and outside of the courtroom. Our unwavering dedication to the pursuit of justice in every case we handle means that we will work relentlessly to help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes to their cases.
Additionally, our in-depth knowledge of the law coupled with our sharp litigating skills allow us to consistently help our clients achieve favorable resolutions to their DUI cases so they can focus on moving on with their lives.