Fighting For My Freedom

3 Don'ts To Avoid A DUI Conviction

Seeing flashing blue lights behind your vehicle can always be a bit unnerving. If your driving maneuvers cause a police officer to suspect that you are driving while intoxicated, the results of the encounter with the officer can have dire consequences.

In order to avoid a DUI conviction that could result in hefty fines and even time in jail, it is best to proceed with caution during your interaction with the officer. Here are a few "don'ts" to adhere to after you are pulled over:

Don't talk unnecessarily.

When you're pulled over by the police officer, he or she may begin to question you about your earlier activities to determine whether or not you have been drinking. You may feel that you have to answer these inquiries, but in actuality, you do not. It is best to avoid answering any questions that could cause you to self-incriminate.

The officer may suggest that you are not being fully cooperative, but as long as you are not behaving in a belligerent or disorderly manner, you are well within your rights.

If you state that you have had any alcoholic drinks prior to being pulled over, your statements will be used against you to support a DUI conviction. There is no need for the police department to gather proof of your drinking when you have already admitted to it. In effect, you are testifying against yourself.

Don't participate in a sobriety test.

Field sobriety tests are not mandatory for you. It is best to avoid them, regardless of what the police officer asks or commands you to do.

In many cases, if an officer requests that you perform a sobriety test, he or she is already planning to arrest you for DUI. Thus, the officer's threats to arrest you for refraining from participating in the field test should hold little weight.

If you do perform a field sobriety test, any evidence of intoxication that you display will be used against you. There are several common field sobriety tests. Here are a few of them:

  • The walk-and-turn test
  • Standing on one leg
  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus test

Don't perform a portable breathalyzer test.

Even though the police officer may try to convince you to blow into a breathalyzer, it is best to avoid this. Breathalyzer test results cannot usually be used as an indicator of the exact blood alcohol level in your system. However, the results can be used to help substantiate a probable cause for your arrest.

If you are charged with a DUI, be sure to obtain legal representation from a DUI defense lawyer, such as R. Patrick McPherson Attorney At Law, as soon as possible.