Knowing what to do during a DUI stop can be difficult. Often, this can lead to a person making multiple mistakes they otherwise would not have, had they been aware of what to do. Below, an Arlington DUI attorney describes the process of a DUI stop, and the proper way to handle the process.
Typically the officer will not be searching the vehicle during the Arlington DUI process. However, if the officer believes that he or she may find something in the car based on your interactions, they may search. If there is probable cause to believe that there is another substance in the car, such as marijuana, based upon the odor of marijuana, or a weapon or an indication that you have been drinking, such as empty bottles or receipt, they may want to search your car.
Additionally, police must have probable cause to search your car. If you are arrested for DUI, your vehicle will be impounded unless somebody is there to drive it away. When your car is impounded, officials are allowed to inventory your car, meaning they go through your car and list what items were found inside. This is so that once you get your car back, you cannot alleged later on that the police stole items or someone stole items. The post-arrest car inventory is essentially a search of your car and is certainly an opportunity for police to find any illegal items or substances you might have in your vehicle.
You can always ask to speak to your Arlington DUI attorney during a DUI stop; however, police do not have to comply with that request. Police are allowed to conduct an investigation into an offense while you are on the side of the road, even if somehow you request an attorney. If police are “interrogating” you while you are “in custody,” which are both legal terms, and you request an attorney before speaking, they do have to stop questioning you and get you an attorney. The same does not apply right away when you are on the side of the road because you are not legally “in custody” when you are pulled over for a stop.
There are several mistakes to avoid during Arlington DUI stops. First, do not make admission as to how much you had to drink or make an admission as to any drinks at all. It is human nature to want to cooperate with the police and disclose that you may have only had two drinks, which sounds reasonable. Police, however, only hear that they now have evidence that you have in fact been drinking, which is more evidence to at least place you under arrest and can be used against you later in court. The safest thing to do is to not answer the question, because you are not required to answer any question posed to you by police.
Second, another mistake is to actually perform a field sobriety test. Once again, it is human nature to want to cooperate with the police when they ask you to perform a field sobriety test. However, the field tests are not mandated and police cannot force you to do it. If you are under the influence of alcohol and you perform a field sobriety test, your performance will only serve to give police more evidence that you are under the influence. Thus, it is really not in your best interest to perform a field sobriety test.
Lastly and this is very similar to the other two, blowing into the preliminary breath test. This is a fairly unreliable machine, and you really cannot be criminally punished or civilly punished for not performing the breath test. However, if you are under the influence of alcohol and do perform the preliminary breath test on the side of the road, the results can only give the police more evidence that you’re under the influence and give them a reason to arrest you when they otherwise would not be able to.
Basically, when interacting with the police during an Arlington DUI stop, be polite and cooperative with the police. You do not want to antagonize them, but with the best of your ability do not perform tasks or make statements that might suggest that you’ve been consuming alcohol that night.
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