Protecting Your Rights During A DUI Stop
Drinking and driving is at an all time high during the holiday season. Obviously if you are drinking you should not drive at all, but many people make the mistake of having a drink or two and think they’re fine to drive since they are not “legally” drunk. This assumption and misperception can however have a very high cost.
Technically, a person with just a small amount of alcohol in their system can be a candidate for a drunk-driving citation, and can be 100% responsible for any accidents that may occur, regardless of who caused the accident. One should not assume because you drink and drive in a responsible manner, you are immune from the “drunk driver” label and the consequences of a drunk-driving conviction can be avoided.
During the holidays police will tend to look for minor infractions such as expired tags, burned out head-lights, etc., and use this as a reason to pull over vehicles when in reality the are randomly checking for drunk drivers. If you are pulled over and had a drink or two, stay calm and be courteous to the officer, and don’t talk too much or be overly friendly. Roll down your window and turn on your interior lights and be cooperative with the officer.
If the officer did not pull you over for suspicion of drinking and driving, they cannot search your person or vehicle unless you make some type of an admission of drinking. If asked by the officer if you have been drinking, you can answer the question with “Would you like to see my license?” Even if you have been drinking you don’t need to admit it, you can respond “I have no comment on that.” If you give any reason for the officer to suspect you have been drinking, they can request you take a field sobriety test that then can lead to a breath, urine or blood test to establish the amount of alcohol in your system.
Be safe and don’t drink and drive…but if you are pulled over, know your rights. Contact our experienced legal team immediately to learn more about your rights and if you are involved in an accident we may be able to assist you. Our OC personal injury attorneys have won hundreds of millions in verdicts and settlements over the past 40 years for our clients. Our lawyers at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie offer a free consultation, so call us at 949-752-7474 to schedule your free consultation today.
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