What Should I Do If I Am Stopped for a DUI?

Drunk Driving Lawyer

It can happen to even the most responsible of people: you go to an event, out to dinner, a pool party, and without realizing it, you have consumed over the legal limit. This is all well and good for people who are of age, but when you get behind the wheel and drive, you put yourself at risk of being pulled over and possibly charged with a DUI. No upstanding citizen of the community wants to experience this process, especially considering a DUI could impact your reputation, your ability to retain your drivers’ license, employment, and may even show up on a background check. Here are some things that you should know if you are stopped for suspicion of DUI:

Do Not Submit to Sobriety Tests

If you have been pulled over, you may naturally want to comply with all directions given to you by law enforcement. However, a common misconception is that you have to.  In fact, you don’t. If you are asked to endure a field sobriety test, you may want to decline. Unless you have had nothing to drink, it’s best not to allow a field sobriety test to occur. Field sobriety testing can be difficult even for a completely sober person, so it’s best to avoid these tests altogether.  The same goes for a breath test. Although there will likely be collateral consequences to declining a breath test, including potential suspension of your license, or having an interlock device installed in your car, declining a chemical test gives the police and prosecutor very little evidence to use against you in court. Know your rights! By declining all sobriety tests, it may be more challenging for you to be convicted of a DUI down the road. 

Be Careful in Answering Questions

It’s important that you refrain from answering questions being asked of you by law enforcement. It’s likely that the questions they are asking are strategic in order to gather information to help prove that you are intoxicated. Do not answer any questions unless you absolutely have to, they could further incriminate you. 

Know Your Limit

It’s not uncommon for a person to believe that they are not too impaired to drive. Unfortunately, this is a primary reason why so many people are pulled over for driving under the influence. It’s important before the night begins to have a clear plan of whether or not you will be drinking and how you will be getting home. There are always a number of alternatives to drinking and driving. Across the country, anything above a BAC of .08%, could result in a DUI as at this point you are considered legally impaired. A variety of factors come into play such as your weight, age, how much you’ve eaten, how fast you consumed the alcohol and the type of alcohol you’ve consumed. Knowing what you can reasonably drink while you are out somewhere is key to avoiding a DUI. To put the legal limit into perspective, a 200 pound man who has consumed 4 drinks, will have a BAC of .08% and will be considered legally impaired. Before you drink, have an alternative plan to avoid a DUI, designate another person to driver, or refrain from drinking altogether.  Using a lift-share, such as Uber or Lyft, or even a good old fashioned taxi, is much less expensive than getting a DUI. You may end up with attorney’s fees, court costs, treatment programs costs, probation costs, interlock costs, etc.  

Contact a DUI Lawyer

Whether you believe that you were falsely charged, or did in fact get behind the wheel while under the influence, you will need to retain the services of an experienced DUI lawyer. They can help you to not only understand the legal process that lies ahead, but ensure that your rights are protected and help mitigate the consequences that you may be facing. Don’t put yourself at risk for obtaining more substantial consequences than you should, contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Harford, MD as soon as possible for the guidance and defense that you need. 

 


 

Thanks to Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into criminal law and what to do if stopped for a DUI.

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