What Should You Expect During a DUI Stop?
It is always scary to hear a siren from a police car and to see the flashing lights of a police vehicle in your rearview mirror. At this point, many people do not understand why they are being pulled over. Law enforcement officers are often overzealous when stopping vehicles, and they are always looking for suspicious DUI drivers, even when a motorist is sober. For this reason, it is crucial that everyone knows when they see the flashing lights and hear the sirens, it may be for a suspected DUI, and that they know what to expect.
What is Probable Cause?
Fortunately, police officers cannot stop motorists without reason to do so. Any police officer must have probable cause, or a reason to suspect a motorist is engaging in criminal behavior, before they can pull someone over. For example, when a driver is weaving in and out of lanes or approaches a stop sign but does not stop, that can give a law enforcement officer probable cause that the driver may be drunk. Sadly, not all officers wait until they have probable cause. Instead, they pull drivers over without probable cause in the hopes that they will obtain evidence that can lead to an arrest.
Speaking to the Officer
After an officer approaches your vehicle after pulling you over, it is crucial that you remain calm. They may ask you questions and may even ask to see your driver’s license, registration, and insurance information. Answer these questions politely but never admit that you have been drinking, even if you have only had one or two beers. Do not be intimidated if the officer seems to be looking for signs that you are under the influence. If they ask you to exit your vehicle or try to arrest you, ask if you are under arrest and what charges they plan to lay against you.
Do Not Submit to Field Sobriety Tests
The officer may ask you to submit to a field sobriety test, such as the walk-and-turn test. Never comply with this request, regardless of the test the officer wants you to take. These tests are highly subjective and are typically only given so the officer can create a stronger case against you. You have no legal obligation to submit to these tests.
Do Submit to a Chemical Test
Chemical tests include the Breathalyzer, or a urine or blood test. Unlike field sobriety tests, you are required under Florida law to submit to these tests. If you do not, your driver’s license will likely be automatically suspended even if you are not convicted of the DUI. A criminal defense lawyer can defend against these tests if they are incriminating while allowing you to keep your license.
Call a DUI Lawyer in Florida
If you or someone you love has been charged with driving under the influence, it is crucial that you speak to a Tampa DUI defense lawyer today. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our skilled attorneys know the defense strategies in these cases and will use them effectively to give you the best chance of a favorable outcome. Call us today at 813-672-1900 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case review.