A traffic stop can be nerve wracking especially when a police officer pulls you over under suspicion of DUI. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to stay calm and remember how you should handle yourself. There are some simple, yet effective ways to help yourself in any future court proceedings. The police will have to build a case against you, and you should do everything in your power to not help them. Therefore, you will want to follow the simple suggestions that are in this article.
It is important to show respect to a police officer that pulls you over under suspicion of DUI. Do not act aggressively toward them. The chances are that they will be more willing to work with you if you are respectful and follow their commands. However, there is a difference between what you have to do and what they can ask of you. Police officers will often make most requests seem like demands.
For instance, you must provide your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. However, you do not have to submit to field sobriety tests. The chances are that the officer will make both of these requests seem like requirements. In reality, you only have to provide your identification and vehicle information. Anything else that an officer asks of you is a request and not a demand. There are some instances where the officer has probable cause and doesn’t have to receive your permission. One example is, having an open beer in your cup holder is probable cause enough for an officer to search your car.
The first and most important thing to remember if a police officer pulls you over under suspicion of DUI is to remain silent. When police officers say “anything you say can and will be used against you in court,” they aren’t lying. The officers will use everything in their power to try to build their case against y0u. Therefore, it is important for you to remain silent.
Never admit to drinking any alcohol, not earlier in the day, not even four years ago. Admitting that you have had an alcoholic beverage immediately gives the police probable cause. Again, you want to do everything in your power to not strengthen the case against you.
The best way to deal with a police stop under the suspicion of DUI is to not say anything. Follow all of the officer’s commands but respectfully exercise your right to remain silent. Simply staying silent isn’t enough. You have to exercise your right to remain silent. Tell the officer that you are exercising your 5th amendment right to remain silent when they ask you a question. This will show the officer that you know your rights and understand that you do not have to help their case.
Do Not Submit to Field Sobriety Tests
During a traffic stop for suspicion of DUI, the police officer will likely ask you to submit to field sobriety tests. The officer may make it seem like these tests are a requirement. However, you do not have to perform any field sobriety tests and doing so can hurt your case. Let’s face it; many people struggle with these tests even when they are sober. If you have an injury or balance issue, you will likely look like you have been drinking. Therefore, it is best to just skip these tests altogether.
Additionally, you do not have to submit to the portable breath test. However, if you do decline to take a portable breath test, the officer may arrest you. You will then be given the option to submit to a different chemical test at a local hospital. There are breath, blood, and urine tests available in most situations. If you refuse the second test your license will be suspended immediately, because of the implied consent law in Massachusetts. Therefore, if you are placed under arrest, it may be best to submit to the chemical test.
Your Massachusetts DUI attorney can challenge the results of a chemical test and other aspects of the case. However, there is very little an attorney can do when you refuse to take a chemical test.