If you have ever been pulled over for suspected
drunk driving, you may have realized just how frightening of an experience it can be.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself from
self-incrimination. This starts by understanding your rights. If you do
not understand your rights, there is no way for you to know when they
have been violated.
For this reason, the
Solano County DUI attorney at Maas Law Offices encourages you to take an active approach to your
defense when faced with a potential DUI arrest. First, it is important
to understand that the police need a reason to stop you. Without having
reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence and/or witnessing
a traffic violation, they would have no reason to make an initial stop—apart
from conducting a sobriety checkpoint.
Next, you must understand that you are under no obligation to answer any
questions about how much you have had to drink. Apart from providing your
driver's license and vehicle registration, you are not required to
offer any further information. In fact, it can be detrimental to do so.
Admitting to having even one drink may give the officer probable cause
to administer a breathalyzer test, so it may be in your best interests
to politely invoke your right to remain silent.
Without confirming that you have consumed alcohol prior to driving, the
officer must base his decision to pursue a DUI arrest solely on your driving
and/or any suspicious behavior that they have witnessed during the traffic
stop. If they ask you to step out of the vehicle and perform a series
of field sobriety tests, you have the right to decline.
If they have reasonable suspicion that you are intoxicated, however, they
can compel you to take a chemical test (i.e. breath, blood or urine test).
While you do have the right to refuse, you cannot do so without accepting
the consequences—which, in the state of California, includes the
suspension of your driver's license and a fine. It is also important to note that you could still be charged
with DUI even after refusing. For this reason, most lawyers would recommend
that you comply. Even if the test shows a blood-alcohol concentration
of .08% or greater, there are ways that a Fairfield criminal defense lawyer
can challenge the results. In fact, it is usually much easier to fight
a DUI conviction later on if you keep these tips in mind during a DUI
Whether you have already been arrested for drunk driving or you still have
questions about what to do during a DUI stop, the legal team at Maas Law
Offices is here to help. All you have to do is
call today at (800) 483-0992 or fill out a complimentary
case evaluation form online to get started.