As we have seen many times throughout our years of practice and
positive results here at Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys, sometimes people
who are completely sober can get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). In rare cases, the highway patrol officer was just looking for a free
arrest and conviction. But in many more circumstances, the person pulled
over simply said or did the wrong thing that led the officer to believe
they were intoxicated.
In order to avoid any unnecessary trouble, and hopefully any undue convictions,
it helps to know how to behave during a DUI traffic stop
before you are ever actually stopped. Take a look at these hints and helpful
Pull over: This should go without saying but pull over once the flashing lights of
a police officer appear in your rear view mirror. Stop where it is safe
and try to remove your car from the shoulder as much as possible so the
officer doesn’t need to stand in the street to talk to you through
your window. They will appreciate it.
Courtesy: The fastest way to get into a conflict with the police is to show them
disrespect. Be kind and courteous, and try to remember that the officer
is simply doing his or her job.
Silence: There are only a few things you should be willing to tell a police officer
who is looking for an excuse to arrest you: name, address, phone number,
etc. Anything that they can get with a quick search and that is not incriminating
should be willingly told. Anything else? Keep it to yourself. Use your
Fifth Amendment rights and state that you would like to stay quiet until
you have an attorney present. Remember that anything you say and do
will be used against you later.
Field sobriety testing: A highway patrol officer may feel inclined to tell you to take a field
sobriety test. If they do, you should be inclined to ask them if it is
mandatory. Any option sobriety testing should be refused, as it does not
put you at any immediate risk of criminal penalty and it does not provide
them with any extra evidence to use against you.
In plain sight: If an officer decides to conduct a search of your vehicle, before you get
up in arms and decide it is an unlawful search and seizure, you should
know about “in plain sight” laws. Essentially, if an officer
can see a container of alcohol just by looking into your vehicle, they
have the right to search it for evidence of a DUI. In plain sight also
translates to “in plain smell” because a strong odor of alcohol
on your breath can trigger an impromptu search of your car.
If you remember these five hints, the best case scenario is the officer
allows you to go on your way unimpeded. In the worst case scenario, you
are arrested and brought back to the station. If this happens, remember
these last two crucial hints:
chemical test – i.e. a blood, breath, or urine test conducted at the police station
– will immediately trigger an automatic license suspension that
can last 1 to 2 years; you should always take a chemical test to avoid
this administrative penalty.
- You get more than one phone call when you are in jail but you should still
use your first one to contact an attorney; time is against you and you
need to have someone on your side as soon as possible.
If you live in Arizona, the Mesa DUI attorneys from Naegle & Crider
PLC can bring trial-tested, winning advocacy to your case. Call us at
480.418.0776 today to learn how we can protect your after a DUI arrest. You can also
FREE case evaluation with Attorney Charlie Naegle!