A DUI conviction can have some very serious consequences. Unfortunately, these consequences not only affect your immediate future, such as whether you’ll be arrested as well as fines, jail time, and other actions, but it can also have long term repercussions. If you have a DUI conviction, it can be difficult to get some types of employment, and you’ll likely face higher rates for automobile insurance. This can leave you struggling long after you’ve paid your fine and served your time.
Should You Tell The Officer That You’ve Been Drinking?
While you might think that the answer to this question is obvious, especially if you have already been charged with a DUI, but it’s important to speak with an attorney before you do anything. There are times when your attorney will be able to present a defense that can lead to reduced charges or even having the charges dropped altogether. However, if you’ve already talked with the police and admitted guilt, this can be much more difficult.
You have the right to not say anything without an attorney present, and if you’ve been stopped for driving under the influence, it’s usually a good idea to exercise this right. Your attorney will be able to evaluate your case and give you professional legal advice on exactly how you should proceed.
What to Do If You’ve Been Stopped for a DUI
If you’ve been pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you should remain silent. Of course, if you blow a BAC that exceeds the limit in your state, there’s not much you can do to prevent your being arrested. However, if you remain quiet and don’t offer any information to the arresting officer, you could be helping your case down the road. It’s best to comply with the arresting officer, but assert your right to remain quiet. For example, you are not obligated to answer if you are asked if you’ve been drinking.
You should definitely cooperate if you are asked to perform a field sobriety test or to give a breath sample for determining your BAC; however, offering information or answering questions without an attorney is usually not a good idea.
If you refuse to cooperate with the officer that pulls you over, you could make your situation worse. If the officer suspects that you have been drinking, they will ask you to give a breath sample in the breathalyzer, but if you refuse, they will likely arrest you and you’ll be forced to submit to a blood test. In some cases, the results of a breath test can be disputed, but that can be hard to do with a blood test. Your attorney might argue that the officer wasn’t properly trained in how to use the instrument or that the machine wasn’t properly calibrated.