Relax: This is probably easier said then done, but the more you can relax the better you will perform. From the moment they turn on their lights, the officer(s) is watching the way you handle yourself …the way you drive, control and bring your vehicle to a stop. Drive to a safe place and pull over. Be calm!
Keep Your Hands Where the Officer(s) Can See Them: The officer has no idea who you are. Even though you know you would never doing anything questionable … they don’t. One of the more difficult parts of their job is approaching the vehicle they just pulled over. Officers know very little about the person they are approaching and you make their job easier by keeping your hands in sight. It’s a good idea to turn off your vehicle, remove the key from the ignition, and place the key on your dashboard with your hands on your steering wheel.
Be Nice: “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” A bad attitude will get you absolutely nowhere. Whether you think the police are justified in what they are doing or not, just be nice and polite. Plus, being portrayed in the police report as nice and cooperative is a fact that points toward sobriety more than it does to being under the influence.
Decline to Make Any Unnecessary Comments: You will have to provide an officer with your name, license, registration and insurance information. However, you do not have to respond to any questions regarding what, when and how much you may have had to drink. Politely tell the officer that you have been advised not to respond to these questions prior to speaking with a criminal defense DUI lawyer. Trust me, anything you say can, and will, be used against you in your case.
Refuse the Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs): You have no legal obligation to perform any field sobriety tests (FSTs) and there is no legal consequence for refusing to perform them. Plus, these tests are difficult to properly perform for most people regardless of alcohol consumption.
Refuse the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Test: Unlike the “chemical test”, you have no legal obligation to take a PAS test. PAS tests are inherently unreliable and cannot be trusted to provide an accurate reading. However, they can be used in court, so politely refuse to take this test.
Do NOT Refuse A Chemical Test After Lawful Arrest: After the officer has placed you under arrest, you will be asked to submit to a test of your breath or blood. Do not refuse this test. Refusing this test has severe consequences if you should ever be convicted. Your drivers license can be suspended for up to 1 year and you may potentially serve time in jail for a refusal.
Choose the Breath Test: Simply, the breath test is the more defensible test. There are more ways to attack the accuracy of a breath test reading than with the blood test.
Make Detailed Notes Regarding the Incident: It is important to write down, in exact detail, the events surrounding the incident including the who, what, where, when, and how much of the entire evening. Do so while it is still fresh in your mind so you do not forget. This will give your lawyer with precious details about your case, ultimately aiding in your defense.
Call the Law Office of Amy Schroder at 714-744-4600
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