If you are stopped and accused of committing a DUI offense, it’s important for you to get a good idea of how the stop should be handled and what the police will be looking for as they investigate. A DUI is investigated from the moment that you’re stopped by the police, so being on the defensive is a good idea.
During a DUI stop, the first thing the police will do is ask for your identification and other important documents. It’s during this moment when they may bend down to speak with you or seem close, and that’s because they may be looking into your window or trying to smell for alcohol or other intoxicating substances.
Investigations continue if you’re suspected of being impaired
If the officer’s initial observances make it seem that you are impaired, then they will go further during the stop. They will ask you if you’ve had anything to drink. They might ask if you’ve been doing drugs or if you have any medical conditions.
Then, they could ask you to take a Breathalyzer test. This test gives them a better indication of your blood alcohol concentration and if you’re impaired by alcohol.
To further build a case, the officer may ask you to step out of your vehicle and to perform the three typical field sobriety tests. During one, you’ll walk and turn. Another looks at your eyes and their movement. The third has you attempt to balance. These tests are not completely accurate, but they may help the officer determine if you appear impaired enough to be arrested.
Once all of this is done, the officer may make a decision to arrest you. If they do, they’ll continue investigating by talking with you. You should know that you don’t need to respond or answer further questions. You can ask for your attorney or that your Miranda rights are read to you.
At the station, you will go through further testing and intake to determine if you’re impaired by alcohol or other substances.
This process takes time, and it’s not always accurate. Building a defense starts by knowing your rights during the stop and staying quiet so that you don’t say something incriminating.