Put yourself behind the wheel, driving along the highways of Alabama at night and going home. Now put alcohol on your breath due to having a drink with your buddies. Now put the red and blue lights of a police officer in your rear view mirror.
You are being pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. What you say and do next is critical. If you keep these five helpful tips in mind, you will help maximize your chances of avoiding an arrest and subsequent consequences.
Stay Calm and Cooperate
Law enforcement officers are normal people, just like everyone else, so they appreciate being treated fairly and with respect. If you relax and remember that being pulled over does not mean you are under arrest, things will go as smoothly as can be. Keep in mind that when the police ask you to retrieve your license and registration, do so in deliberate movements; this is not time to get the nervous jitters.
Only Say What You Need to Say
Even if you aren’t under arrest, you still have the right to remain silent. Do not feel any pressure to answer any questions that might be leading or incriminating, such as “How much have you had to drink tonight?” or “Where are you headed from?” However, basic things, such as your name or address, should be provided to speed up the process.
Forgo Field Sobriety Tests
If the officer has enough reason to suspect you are driving while intoxicated, they will ask you to take a few field sobriety tests (FST) right there on the side of the road. If you are feeling anxious or had just one light drink, you could easily fail these tests. You do have the option, however, to refuse to take the test or opt to take them back at the station, giving you time to settle down and stabilize. In many cases, there are no direct consequences of refusing to take a FST.
Consider Chemical Tests
Alabama State has an “implied consent” law in place that basically means that if you are using a public road, you are also willing to submit to any chemical testing – breath, blood, or urine – a highway patrol officer asks you to do. If you refuse to have your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level tested through chemical means, your license will be suspended for at least 90 days as a punishment that is separate from any possible conviction penalties. Usually refusing to take a chemical test after being arrested for a DUI does no good for your case.
Hire an Attorney
If you have been charged with a DUI in Alabama, there are still ways to defend your rights and secure your freedom of mobility. With a skilled Birmingham DUI attorney from Tidwell Law Group, LLC at your side, anything the prosecution uses against you can be critically analyzed and potentially dismantled. Even if you blew higher than a 0.08 on a breathalyzer, our experienced team can challenge the results by bringing the accuracy of the testing device itself into question.
Call (205) 536-7770 today to schedule your free initial consultation!