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Process of a DUI Stop in Prince William County

In a typical DUI stop, an officer will activate their emergency equipment and pull a person over either if they have seen some crime being committed, or if they have reasonable suspicion to believe that there is a DUI in progress. If you are pulled over here is what you should know according to a DUI attorney in Prince William County. To discuss your case, including the stop, in more detail call and schedule a free consultation today.

Questions Asked By The Officer

Once the accused submits to their authority by stopping their vehicle, the officer will approach and will ask a series of questions including a request for them to produce their license and registration. Although these may not seem important, many of these initial questions are calculated to assist the officer in determining whether the driver is in fact under the influence. One of the questions that will typically be asked is whether the driver has had anything to drink. Based on the questions, based on what the officer has observed to that point and based on whether the officer smells alcohol on the person or the driver, in many cases they will then command the driver out of the vehicle to perform a field sobriety test.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety test are tests which are designed to assist an officer in determining whether a person is under the influence. These can include everything from an HGN test to a nine-step walk-and-turn, a one-legged stand, an alphabet test, and many, many others that police utilize. By observing how the driver behaves or performs on these tests, the officer will be attempting to make a determination about whether the driver is under the influence.

Preliminary Breath Test

At the end of these tests, the officer is then required by law to offer a PBT or preliminary breath test, which in theory is for the purpose of allowing the individual to demonstrate that they are not intoxicated. In practice, this is test which is also used to assist the officer in determining whether there’s probable cause for arrest. If based on all of these the officer does believe there is probable cause, the individual will be placed under arrest at that point. They will have their person searched and will frequently have at a minimum the part of the vehicle that they were sitting in searched.

DUI Arrest and BAC Test

At that point, they will be placed in a police vehicle and transported either to the jail or police station, where a breath test will be performed. Before the breath test can be performed, there has to be a twenty-minute to thirty-minute waiting period to make sure that any mouth alcohol has dissipated. At that point, they will be instructed by the officer how to blow into the Breathalyzer machine and a printout will be given that shows their blood alcohol content.

Finally, the individual will be brought before a magistrate judge sometimes in person, but in most cases over a video conference and evidence will be presented to the magistrate judge by the officer and warrants are generally issued at that point. In addition, an initial bail determination will be made.

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