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What to Expect During a DUI or DWI Stop

During a night out with friends you consume a couple of alcohol drinks.  You know that you are not drunk, so you get behind the wheel to head home.  However, on your way home you see the flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror and you know that you are about to be pulled over.  Before you panic, you need to be aware of what will happen if the police officer suspects you are drunk driving.

First it is important to understand that a police officer has to have a justifiable reason to stop your vehicle.  He or she cannot pull you over for no apparent reason.  Speeding, aggressive driving, failing to use traffic signals and rolling through a stop sign are all obvious traffic infractions that give the police officer reason to stop your car.  Even if you have not broken any obvious traffic laws, a police officer can usually still find an excuse to pull you over.

Despite that fact that you are not drunk, you may still become anxious, knowing that you did consume some alcohol.  Always keep your registration and proof of insurance in your vehicle and make these documents readily accessible.  Be polite to the police officer, but do not immediately admit to drinking alcohol.  If you voluntarily admit that you have been drinking, you give the police officer reason to pursue the issue further.

A police officer does have the legal authority to ask you to step out of your vehicle.  You may be asked to perform field sobriety tests to show your ability to drive.  If you are over the age of 21, most states do not require you to participate in field sobriety tests.  Field sobriety tests are difficulty to perform even for someone who has not consumed any alcohol and the results of these tests are often unreliable.

The reason field sobriety tests are given is to justify a test that measures your blood alcohol content (BAC).  Many states do require drivers to submit to a chemical test, but the police officer must have reasonable suspicion to order you to take such a test.  Refusing to participate in field sobriety tests may irritate the police officer, but the prosecution will have a harder time making a case against you if they can’t use field sobriety tests as evidence.

If the DUI stop results in an arrest, you should contact an experienced DUI lawyer or DWI lawyer immediately.  There are defenses available.  Call 888-DUI-Answer or 888-DWI-Answer today.