Your Legal Rights At a DUI Stop in Loudoun County
When interacting with law enforcement in Loudoun County and elsewhere in Virginia, you have certain rights that may not be violated even if police believe you to be driving under the influence. Below, a Loudoun County DUI lawyer discusses the various rights you have during and after a DUI stop including whether you are required to take field sobriety tests and breath tests.
If you have already been charged with DUI, it is important you call and schedule a consultation with a DUI attorney as soon as possible so they can begin building your defense.
What Are My Rights During and After a DUI Stop?
If you are stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence you must give the officer your license and registration and you must answer any biographical questions. Additionally, if you are asked to step out of the vehicle you must comply with the officer’s request.
With that said, however, you have the right to refuse a preliminary breath test and you also have the right to refuse to perform field sobriety tests. In addition, you have the right to refuse to answer the questions that may be used against you at a later point. These questions may include:
- How much alcohol did you consume?
- When was your last drink?
- Other questions that may be used to try to determine intoxication.
If you are arrested you absolutely have Miranda rights and you absolutely have the right to remain silent.
Do I Need to be Read My Miranda Rights At a DUI Stop?
During the course of a traffic stop an officer may ask you certain questions. These questions may include where you are coming from, how much alcohol have you consuand questions about your biographic information in order to determine your level of intoxication.
Until you are placed under arrest, your Miranda Rights do not apply to the DUI investigation. There is specific case law that notes in most circumstances that the DUI investigation is an exception to the Miranda Rights.
Can I Contact An Attorney During a DUI Stop?
Depending on the officer’s patience, you can absolutely contact an attorney during a DUI stop. The officer is not required by law to stop the investigation if you want to contact an attorney, however, it maybe in your best interest to do so.
What Are Some Constitutional Issues That Can Come Up At DUI Stops?
There are a variety of constitutional issues that may come up in DUI cases. The most common constitutional issues are violation of the Fourth Amendmentm, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure and violation of the Confrontation Clause when evidence is attempted to be admitted without a proper evidentiary foundation.
Refusing A Breath Test
If you refuse to take the EC/IR II test at the station you should know that you are likely going to be charged with unreasonable refusal pursuant to the Virginia Code Section 18.2 – 268.3. However, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case it may be in your best interest to refuse the test.