Most drivers in California have never been stopped for a DUI, which means that many do not know how to properly interact with the police and protect their legal rights.
However, you could find yourself in a situation where you are stopped by an officer after having a few drinks with your friends. Although you may have done nothing wrong, how you handle the situation could determine whether or not you are arrested and charged with a DUI.
Here are some examples of what to do after getting stopped for a DUI in Alameda County:
Getting pulled over for a DUI is a scary experience. In these situations, your natural tendency may be to become overly aggressive with an officer. However, it is highly recommended that you remain calm and speak respectfully to any law enforcement official.
You should also calmly comply with any legal requests that the officer makes. This includes providing him or her with your license and vehicle registration, as well as stepping out of your vehicle in a non-threatening manner. You do not have to take a standardized field sobriety test.
Do Not Answer Any Unnecessary Questions
All you are legally required to do during a stop is provide the officer with your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. If you are asked anything else by an officer, then you have the right to remain silent and request an attorney.
It is important to recognize that officers are not neutral and are looking for probable cause to make an arrest. Their questions are designed to get you to admit to drinking. They want you to provide them with evidence that can be used in court.
Never Submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Device Test
Unless you are on probation or underage, then you do not have to submit to a PAS device test. Officers will ask you to submit to this test in the hopes of establishing probable cause for a lawful arrest. They are also looking to collect evidence to use against you at trial.
The only reason to submit to a PAS device test would be if you have had nothing to drink. If this is the case, then the evidence compiled will work in your favor if an officer makes an illegal arrest. However, you should keep in mind that even if you are sober, there are factors that could erroneously trigger a PAS device. Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, can trigger the device to produce an inaccurate reading.
Refuse Any Request for a Field Sobriety Test
A field sobriety test is a physical test that an officer will use to determine if you are intoxicated. This includes things like following an object with your eyes and walking in a straight line.
While these tests are supposed to be administered objectively, any officer committing to a DUI investigation already thinks that you are intoxicated. He or she is looking for the slightest evidence that will allow them to make an arrest. You should always refuse a field sobriety test and ask for legal representation as soon as possible.
Stopped for a DUI? Contact an Alameda County DUI Attorney Today for Assistance
You can schedule a consultation with an attorney at the Law Office of Louis J. Goodman to learn more about how California DUI laws may apply to your situation. If you were stopped for a DUI in Alameda County, then we encourage you to call us at (510)582-9090 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.