In the following page, a DUI attorney in Henrico County explores the process of a DUI stop and the questions law enforcement officers may ask an individual about a potential DUI case.
The officers in Henrico County are actively trained to look for impaired driving. They are looking for swerving, they are looking for driving too slow, or other driving errors that could indicate impairment. In addition, officers are looking for signs of impairment in your behavior and appearance. Officers will make note of your speech, eyes, and ability to understand and follow directions.
If the officer believes you’re driving impaired and/or if he stops you for another charge, and then upon questioning believes that you’re under the influence, will ask questions about the intake of alcohol, where you’re coming from or going to. Most DUIs start with routine traffic stops. Based on your behavior and other factors, the officers can and will escalate the stop to a DUI investigation. If they believe you are under the influence, they will ask you to perform field sobriety tests and take a field breathalyzer.
The officers will ask what you drank during the evening, if you were drinking and/or if there were drugs. They will also ask:
Officer’s will ask personal questions such as:
The officer will ask you to perform several tests: the horizontal gaze stigmas test, the one legged stand test, and the walk in turn test. In addition, they may ask you to perform other tests, like to count from one number to another, or recite a certain section of the alphabet to gauge your comprehension, your coordination and your ability to communicate.
After you are pulled over, the officer will ask for license registration and likely several questions about you and what you are/were doing. Many of these questions will focus on if you have taken any alcohol or drugs and where you were going and/or coming from.
The officer will then ask you to step out of the car to take field tests. Depending how you do on the tests, they’ll then ask you to take a field sobriety test or a PBT and depending on the results of that test, they will either arrest you, send you on your way, or in some cases they’re going to ask you to call for someone else to drive you home.
The officer will almost always want to search your vehicle. If you are arrested for DUI, they will in fact search your vehicle whether you consent to it or not. During a traffic stop, before an arrest, you do not need to consent to a search. An officer must have probable cause for a search of your vehicle.
However, after being arrested for a DUI, the officer does not need your consent to search the vehicle. They will conduct what is called an inventory search of your vehicle, where they can search it basically to determine what is in the vehicle and anything found in that post arrest search can be used against you and result in further charges.
You do not technically have a right to speak to an attorney during a DUI stop. You can ask to speak to a lawyer during a DUI stop, but the officer does not have to allow it and normally will not.
The biggest mistake in DUI stops are individuals that argue with the officers or attempt to “beat the test.” These tests have been designed to catch DUIs and attempts to beat them usually fail. Another mistake individuals make is giving incriminating statements about consuming alcohol or drugs. Besides your identifying information you are not required to answer all of the officer’s question. Lastly, it does not benefit you to argue with the officer conducting a stop, it is always best to be police and cooperative.
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