What to do if you are pulled over for DUI
Last week we did an excellent post on things you should NOT do if you are pulled over for DUI. In this post we will follow up on that and discuss the things you SHOULD do if you are ever pulled over for DUI.
Every month, hundreds of drivers are routinely stopped by police in the Tampa, Orlando, Clearwater and Sarasota regions for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). Authorities often question the driver about alcohol consumption during a late night traffic stop. In other instances, police have set up DUI checkpoints and will question drivers as they pass through. If you consumed any amount of alcohol and are then pulled over by police or questioned while passing through a DUI checkpoint, here are 8 important items to keep in mind:
- If you’re being pulled over, use your turn signal and slowly pull over to the side of the road. Roll down your window, place both hands on the steering wheel, and remain calm. If you’re passing through a checkpoint, drive through slowly and obey any directions from the officer. Roll down your window as you approach so the officers don’t have to ask you to do so. Pull to the side if directed to do so.
- Do not attempt to leave your car and do not shuffle around in the glove compartment looking for credentials.
- Remain with your hands on the wheel and wait for further instruction from the officer. Think about where your credentials are, but wait to retrieve them until the officer directs you to do so. Shuffling around can only make the officer nervous and arouse suspicion.
- Make it a point to be polite and courteous to the officer. Your window should already be down when the officer reaches you. Don’t be afraid to politely greet the officer as he/she approaches. Be cooperative, not evasive.
- Answer any questions directly and honestly. Do not give lengthy explanations or volunteer unnecessary details. Rambling or certain intonations may heighten suspicion.
- Once you are asked to retrieve your credentials, give the officer your drivers’ license, registration card, and insurance card. Remain calm. The police are watching to see how you perform the maneuvers involved in getting these credentials.
- If asked to submit to the field sobriety tests, you must choose whether to comply or refuse. Every Florida driver can refuse the field test. However, Florida’s implied consent laws stipulate that every licensed driver consents to a chemical (breath or blood) test. Refusal of the chemical test will result in an automatic 1-year license suspension and hefty fines. If you’ve been drinking and this is your first DUI encounter, chances are that they outcome which results from failing the chemical test (breath or blood) will carry lighter consequences than a refusal altogether.
- If you submit to either the field sobriety test or chemical test and are arrested for DUI, call an experienced Florida DUI attorney immediately. As stated in #7, an experienced DUI defense attorney will work to plead your case down and minimize the penalties and fines involved. If you’ve refused the testing entirely, you will be arrested and charged with under the mandatory statutes of Florida’s implied consent laws. In this case, you will absolutely need the help of a competent DUI defense lawyer
Following steps #1-#6 may very well help you in avoiding suspicion of DUI and you’ll be on your way. However, if you’ve had too much to drink, a trained officer will be able to detect it. Follow the advice of #8.
Finebloom & Haenel P.A. – The Law Firm You SHOULD Call if You are Arrested in Florida for DUI
If you have been arrested for a DUI near Tampa, Orlando, Clearwater or Sarasota it is crucial to choose a lawyer who is experienced and focused. The law offices of Finebloom and Haenel focus their practice in the area of DUI defense. Our attorneys possess over 20 years of combined experience in various areas of Criminal Law and DUI defense. Put our focused expertise to work in defense of your DUI case! Call 1-800-FIGHT-IT