Avoid These Common Mistakes When Being Pulled Over on Suspicion of DUI
Imagine it’s a clear, fall night in Colorado. You’ve just had a great time at game night and are on your way home. You’re weaving on the road a bit as you’ve foolishly had a few too many drinks with your friends. Before you know it, you see flashing lights behind you. Before the police officer even makes it to your window you are sweating, worried you might be charged with DUI. How you handle the situation could be crucial in law enforcement’s ability to obtain or not obtain a conviction. Remember your own choices could result in probable cause to search your vehicle or as evidence presented to the courts during your trial.
NEVER Admit You Have Been Drinking
When being pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, the first question the police officer will likely ask is if you have been drinking alcohol. Obviously, you very well may have as in the above scenario, but it is not in your best interest to admit that little detail to the officer. You must creatively avoid lying as well, but a response such as “no comment” or “I’d rather not say” are perfectly acceptable answers. The ultimate goal is to avoid incriminating statements. Other than giving the officer your name, you are not legally required to reveal any other information.
Just Say No to Field Sobriety Tests
If an officer asks you to take a field sobriety test, it is completely within your rights to refuse; legally you will not face consequences. Chemical tests, on the other hand, can be refused at the expense of losing your driver’s license. Thus, it is crucial to make sure the officer is aware that you are only refusing the field sobriety test. Another fun fact to keep in mind is the officer cannot arrest you and require a chemical test unless he or she has probable cause.
Cooperate If You Are Arrested
Even if you know you have done nothing wrong, it is serious business to resist arrest in the event the officer feels there is probable cause to do so. As frustrating as this situation can be, it will not benefit you to resist. Instead, you will only make your situation far worse. Colorado state law allows resisting arrest charges to be added to any other applicable charges. Furthermore, these charges make you look guilty of other charges (like DUI) when presented in court.
Always Refuse A Request for Vehicle Search
While you may think consenting to law enforcement searching your vehicle shows your willingness to cooperate, it is never in your best interest to do so. In cases where officers have to ask permission, they do not have probable cause to search which means they legally can’t unless you give your consent. While you may have nothing to hide, why risk officers poking around and potentially finding something incriminating, only leading to more charges?
Not Having Proper Representation
Hiring an experienced Colorado, DUI lawyer will be crucial in ensuring a better outcome for you. It is important to quickly contact an adept attorney so he or she is able to have plenty of time to review your case. An attorney is able to assist you by finding potential avenues that could result in reduced charges or even charges that are dropped or dismissed.