If the police ever pull you over for suspicion of driving under the influence or DUI, then there are a few things you should understand. Your behavior and your decisions before, during, and after the traffic stop will be instrumental in determining whether or not you are convicted of a DUI. Take some of our advice to ensure that your experience runs as smoothly as possible.
- Stay Silent
Even if you are under the influence, it may be in your best interest to remain silent. Most people are conditioned to respond to the officer, but staying quiet can actually keep you from incriminating yourself even further. Simply hand your license, registration, and insurance to the officer without saying a word. Your silence cannot be mentioned in court if the officer decides to arrest you and pursue a trial.
- Be Courteous
Sometimes silence is difficult to muster. If you don’t feel as though you can remain silent, then try to be as congenial as possible. Many officers will get angry if they perceive that you are disrespecting them. Any kind of aggressive or rude behavior may also be used as evidence of your potential intoxication. Try to be nice without saying too much to the officer.
- Don’t Take the Handheld Breathalyzer
If a police officer is on the fence about taking you in, they may ask to administer a handheld breath test on you. These tests are notoriously inconsistent, and the results cannot be used as evidence for a jury. That being said, the prosecutor can tell the judge about the test results during sentencing. The test is voluntarily, and you should politely decline if the officer suggests taking the test.
- Don’t Perform the Field Sobriety Test
Like the handheld breathalyzer, field sobriety tests are entirely voluntary. If the officer asks you to step out of your vehicle to perform field sobriety tests, you can, again, politely decline. Performing the field sobriety test will only add more evidence to the case being made by the prosecutor. Beyond that, many field sobriety tests are difficult to accomplish even for individuals who are not impaired.
- Do Take Breath and Chemical Tests
There is another type of breath test that may be administered at the station. If you refuse to take that breath test, then it will certainly look bad to the jurors. They will think that you were trying to hide something by refusing to take the test. Unlike the handheld breath test, the results of and the willingness to take this test can be relayed to the jury during the trial. Even if you think your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) might be higher than the legal limit, it’s important to take this test.
It’s also important to take a blood test if the officer asks you to. This will also be administered at the station. If you are in the state of Colorado, the state maintains an implied consent law, which means that, when you get your license, you are automatically consenting to a chemical test when requested by an officer. If you refuse to take the chemical test, your license may be revoked for a year (or more if this isn’t the first refusal).
It is important to talk to a qualified Denver DUI attorney such as the law firm www.denvercoduilawyer.org about your DUI case. Getting a Denver DUI lawyer may be expensive but the assistance and benefits you can get from you attorney can be worth every penny you will spend. Hiring the right attorney can prevent you from losing your driver’s license, getting your car ignition interlocked and going or enrolling to DUI school. Better, he/she can help reduce your charge or even get the case dismissed given that charge reductions are common in the kind of situation you are in.