Labor Day is coming up and DUI task forces will be out looking for impaired drivers throughout this holiday weekend. There will be many saturated areas of police DUI enforcement activities and they will pull anyone over that commits any minor traffic violation. They will be putting drivers through field sobriety tests, breath tests, and even blood tests if you are arrested.
If you have been drinking, even a little, they will arrest you. You cannot pass the field sobriety tests as there is no passing grade. Anything you do that is different than what the officer asks you to do, for example estimate 30 seconds when 32 seconds passed, is a failure. Since anything you say or do will give the officer probable cause to arrest you, You need to know your rights.
1 - Always be polite and responsive to the officers (do not raise your voice or argue with them.)
2 - You MUST give the officer your drivers license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. ( If you do not have them with you the officer will have the right to arrest you even though they normally cite and release.)
3 - You do not have to take field sobriety tests. If asked to take a test tell the officer you respectfully refuse to take the field sobriety test. (If you are arrested you do have to take a test buy you have a choice to take a breath test or a blood test. If they want to give you a breath test tell them you want a sample of the breath preserved. They cannot do that so they will have to take you to a hospital or jail for a blood test. If they want to give you a blood test, tell them you are afraid of needs and want a breath test. The purpose of having them drive you around is that it gives you more time to burn off the alcohol in your body.) Once again, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE FIELD SOBRIETY TEST LIKE WALKING THE LINE, FOLLOWING THE LIGHT WITH YOUR EYES, TILTING YOUR HEAD BACK AND RAISING ONE FOOT. Simply tell the officer your respectfully decline to take any Field Sobriety Test.
4 - The police will ask you lots of questions - DO NOT ANSWER THEM. All you have to tell them is your name, address and date of birth. Do not admit to drinking, do not tell them when you last had something to eat. Simply state that "I respectfully decline to answer any questions." (If you have medical problems, allergies that may make your eyes red and watery, sprained or pulled muscles that could give you an unsteady gate, balance problems, vision problems such as a muscle imbalance in your eyes be sure to tell the officer about medical conditions, You do not have to tell them what medicine you take or what treatments you receive for those conditions. That is private medical information protected by HIPPA and your right to privacy.)
Remember - if you have been drinking, even a little, the police are going to arrest you. They will not take a chance on letting you go and then getting into an accident. It is no sweat off their back to arrest you, it makes them look like they are dong their job.
Under the American system of law, the officer must have probable cause to arrest you, and if you do not give them any additional information, other than name DOB and address, it makes it much harder for them to show probable cause. Without probable cause to arrest the blood or breath sample can be suppressed. That means that it is much more difficult to prove DUI and your criminal attorney will have a better chance of winning the case.
If you are at the lake and on a boat, this will apply to the person who is driving the boat. You can get a Boating DUI, which is called Operating under the Influence (OUI) while boating.
If you are arrested and the officers use excessive force, or lack probable cause to arrest since you had not been drinking, Call our firm to help protect your rights.