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Exercise rights in a DUI stop

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2022 | Driving Offenses

Every day, drunk driving incidents cause an average of 29 deaths throughout the country. That amounts to more than 10,500 deaths per year, an alarming number. But that does not mean that every time an adult drinks an alcoholic beverage and drives, he or she is breaking the law. If a police officer pulls someone over for a suspected DUI, it’s important to know what to do and what not to do during the traffic stop.

A police officer must have reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop. If an officer sees a vehicle weaving in and out of its lane or brake lights blinking on and off at random times, that is likely sufficient cause to pull the driver over. What the driver says and does from that point on may have a significant impact on the ultimate outcome of the situation.

A driver can respectfully decline to answer certain questions

A traffic stop will undoubtedly run more smoothly if the driver acts respectfully toward the police officer. However, that does not mean that each and every question the officer might ask must be answered. In fact, if the officer asks whether the driver has imbibed alcohol, the individual may invoke his or her constitutional right to remain silent.

Preliminary alcohol screening tests can be declined

A roadside breath test or field sobriety test is a means of establishing probable cause to make a DUI arrest. No driver is obligated to take such tests, although every driver should be aware that refusals may be admissible in court should an arrest occur, and the driver winds up facing DUI charges. If an accused individual is unsure what to say or not say, it is a good idea to request legal support.