Being pulled over by police for suspected drunk driving is intimidating but requires quick thinking. The best preventive measure against being stopped is drinking responsibly. But these tips may help your criminal defense if you are ever involved in a DUI stop.
Being rude or belligerent does not protect your rights and may increase the odds of an arrest. If a police vehicle signals you, pull slowly over to a safe place. Keep your hands visible.
Be respectful and do not argue. Provide your license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Step out of your vehicle if asked.
Take advantage of your Miranda rights to remain silent during questioning. Politely decline to answer questions about how much you drank, your activities, or where you were. You can refuse to provide answers even if you already answered questions. Never lie.
Police may request that you take a field sobriety test. These are a test of physical tasks such as standing on one leg, walking a straight line, or moving eyes in a certain direction.
These tests do not test alcohol levels. Interpretation is highly subjective. Unclear police instructions and a driver’s nervousness, health, fatigue, and general coordination can also skew results. Drivers may refuse to undergo a field sobriety test.
Oregon has an implied consent law where motorists agree to a breath test as a condition of having a license. Failure to submit to a test, if pulled over for impaired driving, will lead to the suspension of driver’s license.
A blood alcohol test result of at least 0.08% is a test failure and grounds for license suspension and may be evidence in a DUI prosecution. Any BAC level is prosecutable for drivers under 21.
After taking a test, you may also request to have a blood alcohol content test performed by a qualified person that you choose. Police may not, because of a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision, compel a blood test without a warrant.
Write down details
Take notes and write down everything. Include how much alcohol was consumed, the identity of the police, how police acted, the location of the police stop, and any detail related to this event.
Drivers have a right to speak to a lawyer and legal representation.