Considering that driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense, we all should try to do whatever we can do to avoid being pulled over by cops for any reason. The problem is, authorities are actively manning the streets for any sign of a drunk driver, and will gladly make a DUI arrest whenever they can.
Police officers need to have reasonable suspicion that you are involved in some kind of criminal activity to stop your car. Whether or not you are involved in anything criminal is beside the point. The moment they notice your car make an illegal turn, drift from lane to lane, get too close to other cars or objects by the side of the road, or stop in the middle of the road for no apparent reason, they will ask you to pull over so they can check you out. Speeding, repeated braking, and very slow driving can also get you in trouble.
Questioning and roadside tests
The police officer will ask you to step outside your vehicle, and then proceed to ask you questions. He or she will ask you if you had anything to drink. However you respond, the police officer will ask more questions to try to establish that you had been drinking. Just remember that your responses will be noted and may be used against you if ever you’re arrested for a DUI, and that you have the right to remain silent the entire time you’re being questioned.
Roadside tests are also standard procedure for the police if you’re pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. These roadside tests include field sobriety tests (FSTs) and a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). How you perform on these tests or whether or not you agree to undergo them in the first place would be crucial details that your DUI lawyer is going to need to determine the best course of action for your case.
Arrest and mandatory chemical tests
If the officer arrests you and brings you to the police station, you can expect to be administered mandatory chemical tests to sufficiently establish that you were, indeed, intoxicated at the time of your arrest. Under implied consent laws, you will have to submit to breath, blood, or urine testing.
The police will also take away your driver’s license and replace it with a temporary paper driving permit. They will book and cite you for a DUI, and you will stay in jail until you or a friend posts your bail. A judge may also release you on your “own recognizance.”
Hire an experienced DUI attorney
Since you’re facing a DUI charge, it would be in your best interest to get the services of a skilled and experienced DUI lawyer. The sooner you get in contact with a drunk driving attorney, the better, as it would give the both of you more time to prepare a defense in court.
To get a clearer picture of what happens if you’re arrested for driving under the influence, check out the infographic below.