Van Riper and Nies Attorneys Articles Advice to Follow if Pulled over for a DUI

Advice to Follow if Pulled over for a DUI

By Christian Van Riper  Mar. 30, 2011 6:40p

If you were pulled over for a DUI, would you know what to do? Author, Christian Van Riper, a former DUI prosecutor, advises all readers to not drink and drive, but if you have drank alcohol and are pulled over, he gives the following tips to follow.


Be Courteous

If you argue with the officer, or even worse, get physical with the officer, you may also be charged with “Resisting Arrest Without Violence” or “Resisting Arrest With Violence”. Provide the officer with your name, license, insurance card and registration if requested. You can respectfully decline to answer his or her questions and ask to speak with an attorney.


Be Quiet

Anything you say to the officer will be written down, or even recorded by video, and will be used against you in court. You have the right to remain silent. The officer is trained to be polite and friendly in an effort to get you to speak and admit to drinking alcohol. Therefore, if you have been drinking, you should nicely refuse to answer his or her questions. You may say “I prefer to not answer that question” if asked how much you have had to drink.


You Are Not Required to Perform Field Sobriety Tests

Refusing a field sobriety test is not an admission of guilt. You are completely within your rights to refuse to take a field sobriety test. Florida law does not require you to perform field sobriety tests, such as walking a straight line. The tests are often complicated, and quite frankly, you probably have never done them before in your life. If you believe that taking a field sobriety test will incriminate you, then nicely decline to take the tests. Remember, that in all likelihood, you will take the field sobriety test while being recorded by the police officer’s dash mounted camera.


If Arrested, Do Not Say Anything While Being Transported

No matter how friendly the officer (even if not the arresting officer) is to you while being transported, keep quiet.


You Not Required to Complete the Breathalyzer Exam

You probably already know that the Breathalyzer is a device for estimating blood alcohol content (BAC) from a breath sample taken when you blow into the device. If you are not sure that you will blow over a .08, then you should probably not agree to take the Breathalyzer test. If you do blow over the legal limit, you will have provided the police with additional evidence to use against you in court. Oftentimes, even if you do blow under a .08, the officer still will not let you go. However, you can refuse to take this test, with no criminal penalties. You will also have your license suspended by the DMV for a year; however, this would be a civil, not a criminal offense, which is much more drastic than a criminal DUI charge. In Florida, once a driver has completed 12 hours of driving school, your lawyer will usually be able to get a hardship license for you so you can go to and from work, school, etc. If you do take the Breathalyzer test, and blow over a .08, your license will be suspen


Hire a DUI Defense Attorney Within 10 Days

Whether you submitted to the Breathalyzer test or not, you should hire an attorney within 10 days of your arrest. Florida Law has a “10-Day Rule”, which means, if you hire a lawyer within 10 days, your lawyer can begin the process to get your license back before it is suspended officially. Within these 10 days, your lawyer will be able to have the DMV provide you with a temporary driving permit; however, after the 10 days, your license will be suspended unless your attorney can stop the suspension.


If You Are Going to Drink, Do Not Drive

The problems and headaches above, as well as the expense of having to hire an attorney may all be avoided if you do not drive after drinking alcohol.

Van Riper and Nies: Florida DUI Defense Law

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