You have been drinking and are on your way home. Then, the unthinkable happens. You see blue lights behind you, you approach a DUI checkpoint, or even worse you have a wreck. In these instances the police may want to subject you to a variety of tests to determine if you are under the influence or not. Keep in mind the following tips if you find yourself in this situation. They just may help you avoid a DUI conviction!
Tip #1 Don’t Say Anything
The police on duty will ask you all kinds of questions and anything you say can and will be used against you. So, unless you have an attorney present nicely say that you will not answer anything without your attorney. Keep in mind that whatever you say will hurt you, even if it is not necessarily incriminating. Things you are said can easily be turned around, misinterpreted, or simply ignored to make sure you are convicted of a DUI.
Tip #2 Don’t Take the Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are flawed and are basically designed to show impairment. This means that even if you are not drunk and take a field sobriety test, you are likely to fail it because this is what it is designed for. Not to mention the policeman is the one who decides whether you pass or fail. Many times if you have been pulled over for suspected drunk driving and are asked to take a sobriety test you will fail it because the policeman wants you to, or you may because you really are impaired.
Tip #3 No Preliminary Breath Tests
The handheld breathalyzer units that police officers have with them are not very accurate. In fact, they determine what your BAC is supposedly and lets the officer know whether you should be arrested or not. However, the majority of states do not require that drivers take this test. Since the tests are frequently inaccurate they are the last thing you want determining your BAC especially if you have had a drink or two.
Tip #4 Refuse Chemical/Blood/Breath Tests, or Take One?
Many states make refusing to take a blood or alcohol breath test a bad choice, because the repercussions are stronger or just as strong as if you failed one. You should know about your state’s laws before deciding to do this. When it comes to a blood or breath test, you should choose the blood test, especially if you think your are under the legal limit. That is because blood tests are almost always more accurate and it generally takes more time to take one, allowing levels to drop sooner. Keep in mind too that if your blood alcohol level is over .15 then the penalties will be much harsher. If you feel you are above this level then refusing testing might be the way to go. It just depends on the situation, and what your attorney advises.
There are lots of ways you can help yourself even after you have been caught doing something as stupid as drinking and driving. Remember the tips above and incorporate them if you are ever pulled over for suspected DUI.
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