Driving a vehicle after consuming alcohol is never a prudent idea – regardless of the circumstances. Research shows that even a small amount of alcohol – as low as 0.02 BAC – can impair your judgment, blur your vision, and slow down your reaction time.
Still, it is human to err. If you – due to a momentary lapse of judgment – ever find yourself in a situation where you get pulled over by an officer for DUI, it’s vital to know what to do and what not to do.
Given below are six DUI attorney recommended steps to take if you are pulled over for suspected drunk driving.
1. Roll down the windows, turn on the dome light (if it is dark), keep your hands on the steering wheel, and wait for the officer to approach you.
2. Do not search for your license and registration before they ask you to do so. Remember – at this point, the officer does not know whether you are a threat to them. They have no idea whether you are looking for your license and registration or reaching for a weapon. So, you should take your hands off the wheel only when the officer asks you for the documents.
3. If the officer asks you for your name and address, tell them and then remain silent. As any DUI attorney can tell you, you are not legally obligated to answer a police officer’s questions. If they repeatedly ask you whether you have been drinking or where you are coming from, just tell them that you do not wish to answer their questions.
4. If the officer asks you to take a standardized field sobriety test, tell them you do not wish to do so. Under Florida law, it is not mandatory for a DUI suspect to take a field sobriety test. Moreover, refusing to take the test is not considered an admission of guilt. However, the police can and probably will arrest you even if you do not take the test. And, if they have other reasons to believe that you might be drunk.
5. Once you are taken to the police station, you will be asked to take a breath or blood test. Under Florida’s implied consent law, you are required to submit yourself to either of these tests. Refusing to do so can get your license suspended for 12 months.
6. Contact an experienced Florida DUI attorney. Do not talk to the prosecutor or accept any offer from them, no matter how reasonable it might seem to you. Let your attorney decide what is right for you.
If you are facing charges of DUI in Florida, attorney Chad Piotrowski can help you. A former prosecutor and a seasoned criminal defense lawyer, Piotrowski has first-hand knowledge of how the criminal justice system in Florida works. He can identify the weakest points in the prosecution’s case, make the right arguments, and fight relentlessly to protect your rights and freedom.
To discuss your DUI charges with experienced Florida DUI attorney Chad Piotrowski, call us today at 305-204-5000 or contact us online and schedule an appointment.