Halloween is nearly upon us, which means Halloween parties will be happening all around the Birmingham area. With Halloween parties often comes alcohol, and that could lead to a number of intoxicated drivers out on the roads. Law enforcement know about this annual trend, and they respond each and every year by upping their presence and cracking down on these intoxicated motorists.
The best way to avoid being arrested for driving under the influence over Halloween? Don’t drive drunk. However, if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself arrested and charged with this offense, it’s critical that you follow these important tips.
Use Your Right to Remain Silent
This may seem difficult if you’re intoxicated, but the last thing you want to do is continue to run your mouth and accidentally say something that’s going to later be used against you in court. You are allowed to refuse to answer law enforcement’s questions at any time, and it’s strongly advised you exercise this right to the fullest extent, both before and after you’ve been arrested. Likewise, you don’t have to submit to a field sobriety test or take a chemical test unless you’ve been arrested. Bear in mind that refusing to take a chemical test once you’ve been arrested is grounds for having your license suspended, but refusing to do so before being placed under arrest is still perfectly within your rights.
Field Sobriety Tests Are Not Accurate
Officers may say field sobriety tests are accurate, but the truth of the matter is they’re anything but. The Southern California Research Institute, the research company who developed today’s standardized field sobriety tests, were unable to standardize any of the three major types of tests to accuracy ratings above 80 percent, and they didn’t even get above 90 percent unless they used all three in conjunction with one another. Just because you failed a field sobriety test doesn’t mean you were intoxicated. Likewise, this is another reason why you should decline to take one of these tests—they’re riddled with false-positives and are only slightly more accurate than flipping a coin.
Call an Attorney Immediately
You do not have the right to have an attorney present during your chemical test, but you do have the right to have an attorney present if law enforcement choose to question you about your conduct. Likewise, after your arrest, you’ll have a limited amount of time with which to start preparing your case. In fact, you must notify the Alabama Department of Public Safety within 30 days or else your right to a pre-suspension administrative hearing will be waived. Likewise, you’ll also have to go through a criminal trial, which can be a complex and daunting process.
Have a safe and happy Halloween from all of us at Tidwell Law Group, LLC! If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, call our Birmingham DUI attorneys at (205) 536-7770 for a free case evaluation.