There are certain issues that a person should know about DUI traffic stops. A DUI lawyer in DC can help a person better understand their rights relating to these stops. If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in DC, call our law offices for a free consultation.
If an officer asks if you have been drinking, a person should decline to answer the question. This is a question that is designed to elicit an incriminating response, and you are under no obligation to answer it. However, if an officer asks you to step out of the car, you should step out of the car.
While out of the car, if an officer asks you to perform standardized field sobriety tests, it is your absolute choice whether to perform those tests. It is important for a person to understand that these tests are very difficult to pass even when a person is sober. Thus, when a person consents to take these tests, the person almost certainly will be arrested. A person cannot talk their way out of being arrested. If an officer decides not to arrest you, that is their decision.
If an officer requests for you step out of the car, then you step out of the car. If the officer asks you to stay in the car, you should stay in the car. You should be as cooperative as possible with the officer without saying anything other than provide biographical information. You should be very cautious in answering any questions posed by the officer.
It is fair to ask the officer why you are being pulled over but it is usually not a good idea to provide any information. If the officer says, for example, “You ran a stop sign; did you in fact do that?” It is likely in your best interest not to answer that question.
At this time, you should expect that the officer will ask you if you have been drinking or using drugs. The officer will ask you to step out of the car to perform field sobriety tests. At some point, a person can expect to be arrested if they try to perform the field sobriety tests.
One big mistake is admitting to drinking, even if it is only one or two beers. People often think that by admitting to drinking, it will convince the officer who has experience with traffic stops and is used to people saying the same thing, that they should not do a DUI investigation. In the officer’s experience, that means people are underestimating how much they have had to drink.
You are also not going to be able to talk your way out of a DUI investigation, so this is important to understand. You should understand that the less you say to a police officer the better. Making small talk with an officer is not a good idea.
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